June 1, 2016
I have an employee that is not working out. I have given a number of warnings and now I believe its time for us to part ways. In my mind, I am terminating for cause. What do I need on file to properly paper this "for cause" termination?
Today's regulatory environment is exceptionally pro-employee. When firing for cause your paper record is (definitively) more important than your recollection of events. If you have not been contemporaneously documenting poor performance you may have a very uphill battle in classifying the termination as "for cause". The best way to properly document is to maintain a clear scope of duties and obligations through policies and procedures, which have been promulgated (with each employee signing on to as having read and understood at the start of employment). When a violation occurs, be sure to have the offense written up and have the employee asked to acknowledge the written account by reviewing and signing off on same. If the employee disagrees with the write up, allow the employee to provide their own account for their file and document their refusal to sign off on the practice's account.
Even if you follow through with contemporaneous documentation, and documenting and having witnesses the termination, there is always a chance the employee will file for unemployment and prevail. As a general public policy the government prefers the employer foot the bill for a dependent out of work individual rather than the government.
Do not have written rules, policies and procedures in place? Time for an employee handbook...
Topic: Avoiding Legal Conflict!When: June 14, 2016, 12PM-1PM ESTPresenter: Join K&K Partner Caroline Wallitt, Esq. for a discussion on Avoiding Legal Conflict. Caroline will detail specific situations where doctors face vulnerabilities and how best to navigate around these issues mitigating exposure.
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