Legal Tips for Handling Employee Terminations

Business Lawyer | September 21, 2023 | Written by Natasha Nair

Employee terminations can be a challenging and sensitive process for employers. Not only is it essential to ensure that the termination is conducted fairly and following employment laws but employers must also consider potential legal risks and liability. As experts in employment law, the Linley Welwood team understands the complexities and sensitivities surrounding employee terminations. That is why our lawyers have gathered some helpful legal tips for handling employee terminations.

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Tips for Employee Terminations

1. Review Employment Contracts and Company Policies

It is crucial to carefully review the terms of any employment contracts or agreements before proceeding with a termination. Employment contracts often contain provisions that dictate how terminations should be handled, including notice periods or severance pay requirements. Failure to comply with these contractual obligations may result in breach of contract claims and legal liabilities for the employer.

2. Document Performance and Conduct Issues

Documenting performance and conduct issues is crucial when considering employee terminations. Maintaining thorough records of specific incidents or instances where an employee’s behaviour or work performance has fallen short helps establish a valid cause for termination. This documentation should include warnings given to the employee, any attempts made to rectify the situation or provided training, and evidence of how their actions have negatively impacted the workplace.

3. Follow Employment Laws and Regulations

Employers must also follow all relevant employment laws and regulations during the termination process. This includes providing reasonable notice. Employers should familiarize themselves with the ESA guidelines on notice periods based on an employee’s length of service.

4. Avoid Discrimination and Retaliation

Employers must prioritize avoiding discrimination and retaliation to ensure a smooth and legally compliant termination. Discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, or religion is strictly prohibited. Similarly, retaliating against an employee for engaging in protected activities like filing a complaint or reporting workplace safety concerns is illegal.

5. Conduct Termination Meetings Professionally

When conducting termination meetings, it is crucial to approach them professionally and respectfully. Employers should provide clear explanations regarding the reasons for the termination while maintaining a calm demeanor. This helps minimize potential conflict and reduces the risk of legal disputes arising from emotional distress or wrongful dismissal claims.

If you have any questions or need further information about handling employee terminations, please get in touch with our team. We can be easily reached through our online contact form, and we will be more than happy to assist you with any inquiries.

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