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Advice for Small Business Owners on How to Terminate an Employee

Posted on in Terminating Employees

Illinois business law attorneyOne of the most challenging things a business owner must do is manage his or her employees. Unfortunately, this sometimes means terminating an employee’s job. There is no possible way to eliminate the sting and awkwardness of letting an employee go, but there are some ways to prevent the situation from becoming more painful or dramatic than necessary.

Modify Hiring Practices to Avoid Needing to Fire Employees

One of the best ways to avoid having to terminate employees is to focus on hiring employees who are a great fit for their job. When you hire an employee, be very clear about what the job entails and the expectations you have for the person in the position. The more a candidate knows about a job, the more accurately they can assess if it is the right job for them. Furthermore, doing adequate research about potential candidates can help you determine if they would be a good fit for your business.

Do not skimp on references and interviews to save time. Doing so may save you time in the short term, but if the new hire does not end up staying with the company, you will be back to square one. Lastly, if the candidate does not have the skillset needed for the job, avoid hiring them unless you think they can quickly learn what they need to know.

Be Clear But Kind When Delivering the News

An employer must walk a fine line when they are letting an employee go. They must be respectful of the employee’s feelings while also delivering the news in a way the employee fully comprehends. Employers should avoid “beating around the bush” or using unclear language when terminating a worker’s employment. This confusion only drags out the termination process, making it more awkward and uncomfortable for both the employer and the employee.

Experts also suggest having a witness be present at the termination, especially if you fear that the employee will attempt to bring a lawsuit against the company. It is generally best to break the news of the termination to an employee at the end of the day. This helps the employee avoid the embarrassment of leaving in front of everyone and also lessens the chances that he or she will cause a scene in front of the other employees. Before dismissing the employee, explain what will happen next with regard to his or her paycheck, healthcare benefits, unused time off, and ongoing projects. End the meeting with a friendly and professional handshake.

Experienced Business Law Attorneys Who Know Small Businesses

If you have further questions about the termination process or other small business matters, an Arlington Heights business law attorney can help. At A. Traub & Associates, our knowledgeable attorneys have provided counsel and representation for a wide variety of business law issues. Call 847-749-4182 to schedule your initial confidential consultation today.



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