If you’re a boss, then you know that having to discipline or dismiss employees are two of the most dreaded and stressful responsibilities of your job.
What can make it easier for you — and pose less risk to your company — is to have a proper process in place to ensure your compliance with the many state and federal laws that protect employees.
Tips for Dismissals and Disciplining Employees
The following tips will help you establish a procedure for disciplining or dismissing subordinates:
Set clear rules. No matter what size company you have, you need an employee handbook that lays out clear rules for employee conduct and responsibilities and the penalties for violations. Be aware that to be enforceable, the rules must be reasonable. It’s a good idea to have an experienced employment law attorney review your handbook annually to ensure your compliance with current law.
Enforce rules consistently. Management needs to be consistent and impartial when enforcing company rules. If you play favorites, you can open your company up to an employment lawsuit. In addition, the unequal enforcement of rules may create mistrust among other employees.
Have a warning system. Devise a probationary or warning system that gives employees an opportunity to rectify bad behavior. Keep track of each infraction in personnel files and follow through. Be sure the process is fully documented in the employee handbook so workers understand the consequences of violating company rules.
Document everything. Any disciplinary action taken against an employee should be written down and placed in the appropriate personnel file. Management’s expectations for corrective action should be discussed in person and in private with the employee and recorded in the file. Be sure that employees understand the grounds for termination. If litigation looms, written records are essential in defending an employee lawsuit.
Hold regular performance reviews. Performance reviews are necessary to clearly establish employee performance expectations and measure how each employee is performing to those expectations. Reviews should be held at least once a year and a written record of each review placed in the respective employee’s personnel file.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Romy Jurado is one of the founders of Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. a business, real estate and immigration law firm. She focuses her practice on business law, including corporate and transactional matters with an emphasis on corporate formation, stock and asset sales, contract drafting, and business immigration. Romy is originally from Peru and moved to the USA with the dream of becoming an attorney and entrepreneur. Romy is actively involved in the community through her work as a Score certified mentor, and speaking at conferences to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
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