Termination of Employment Best Practices
Even with a contract deeming employment “at will,” it is not always enough protection for a company upon terminating an employee. Retaliation including harassment and discrimination lawsuits can likely occur and businesses should be prepared to manage the situation. To reduce Employment Practices Liability, it is important to take the following recommendations into consideration.
Prior to terminating an employee, the employer should equip itself to defend against any potential claims. Some documented, professional reasons that can withstand scrutiny should be identifiable. Next, policies that discuss termination and discipline, such as the employee handbook, should be evaluated. In addition, the employee’s infractions should be deemed appropriate for termination based on these policies.
Next, it is critical for the employer to properly enforce the rules consistently. Inside Counsel states that failure to apply policies uniformly leaves an employer vulnerable to claims of disparate or discriminatory treatment. If another employee violated the same regulations but was treated more favorably or not terminated, this will only create more legal battles for the business.
As the behavior that the employer warrants to be grounds for termination needs to be explained, a suspension of the employee might prove to be more beneficial. This way, facts and information can be investigated without creating more liability for the employer for wrongful termination, discrimination, etc.
Lastly, internal operations should be taken into account prior to terminating an employee. Whistleblowing accusations could lead to investigations and cause more grief for the employer. Especially for those employees who served many years for the company, these allegations could take precedence in a lawsuit.
In addition to bringing you the latest news from the insurance industry, PL Risk provides Resources for Agents and Brokers nationwide. We’ve recently implemented Hiscox Now, which allows agents their own access to Hiscox and instant quoting. To learn more about our operations, contact us today at (855) 403-5982.