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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Terminating an employee without losing your dignity

The feeling of knowing you need to terminate an employee may leave you feeling uncertain and unmotivated to have a discussion. You may feel concerned about how the individual in question will react and what the impact may be on your brand and your reputation.

Even though it is an uncomfortable situation, no doubt, it is quite common in businesses all across the nation. Knowing how to navigate termination the right way can help you keep your dignity and show the highest level of respect to the person you need to let go of.

Identify a purpose

Just because you feel frustrated with an employee is not reason enough to issue a termination. A well-written disciplinary policy can give you a place to outline your expectations, as well as company protocols for handling non-compliant behavior. Many experts recommend issuing a warning before terminating an employee. Allow the person in question to address some of the issues and correct questionable behavior before taking any extreme action.

If you do decide to terminate an employee, you should have a legitimate reason for doing so. According to Business News Daily, some valid reasons for termination include the following:

  • Unethical or criminal behavior
  • Sexual harassment
  • Violence
  • Drug or alcohol use while on the clock
  • Theft and dishonesty
  • Repeated poor performance

Prepare your thoughts

Prior to calling a termination meeting, think carefully about your approach. Use succinct language to address your concerns. Provide a direct explanation of why a termination is the most plausible solution. If you feel at all concerned about your safety or the potential of a threat, involve other people in the meeting.

Terminating employees can be one of the trickier parts of running a business. An attorney can help you confidently, ethically and legally determine how to go about this process.


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