January 30, 2014

Question:

Jennifer:

Am I ready to fire my medical assistant?  She has been a problem for some time now and this morning I came in to her printing personal materials, inappropriate for the office.  I think I'm ready to part ways.  What now?

Thanks, Dr. G

Answer:

First, I definitely cannot answer whether emotionally you are ready to terminate an employee. Most employers do not take such a decision lightly, especially given the job market, with the exception being a certain hospital system responsible for many year-end terminations (by letter).   Second, the emotional component is certainly not the only component to whether or not you are ready to terminate.  Additional considerations include, but are not limited to:

Answering yes to some of the above, no to others, certainly does not result in a definitive, yes, or, no; that you are ready to fire.  The above list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but examples of areas of concern when terminating.  Each situation is different; with different circumstances and different people involved.  If you are questioning the termination process, separation or factors to be taken into account when making such decisions, do not hesitate to reach out to discuss.  An easy way to invite exposure into the practice is by terminating an employee hastily, without proper documentation, support, witnesses or process, all of which can be avoided with assistance and preparation.