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12 Questions to Ask Prior to Terminating an Employee

Before you terminate an employee, ask yourself these questions to be sure you have been fair in assessing the shortcomings.

  1.  Have you outlined reasons and process for termination in your handbook?
  2. Is your termination lawful?  Have you reviewed your decision with counsel to avoid the risk of discrimination?
  3.  Are you sure you have appropriately counseled the individual toward improvement?
  4. Has the employee been given a chance to tell his story?
  5. What proof do you have of the counseling?
    1. Do you have supporting documentations to support termination?
  6. Has the individual made some effort toward improvement?
  7. Are you certain you have given the employee enough time?
  8. Will separation of employment take the person by surprise?
  9. In this situation, is it best to provide a final warning or last chance to improve or is immediate termination necessary?
    1. If immediate, why?
    2. If the individual is under contract, does the contract require any steps?
  10. Are there other administrators who have also been involved in assessing the individual’s employment? Has the HR director been involved?
    1. How do they feel about the individual’s efforts toward improvement?
  11. Are there extenuating factors to consider?
    1. Did the individual recently have a death in the family or other traumatic circumstance?
    2. Did the person recently complain about an issue that might give pause (i.e., sexual harassment) or have a workers’ compensation injury?
  12. How have you handled other similar situations? You want to be consistent.

 

 

 From SOS HR Essentials Class on Hiring and Termination