Employee | How To Get Rid Of
How to fire the high-risk problem employee.
You must keep the problem employee's anger as low as possible
or you risk an expensive wrongful termination lawsuit.
Sometimes the risks and costs of a lawsuit are so high, it's best
to keep the problem employee on the payroll. Let me give you some
examples of terminations which should've never happened...
- A company fired an worker and her husband after she testified
at an unemployment hearing for another coworker. The jury awarded
the worker and her husband $4,352,316.
- A 49-year old worker sued his employer for falsely accusing
him of altering documents and then firing him. He and his lawyer
the "real" reason was age discrimination. The jury
awarded the plaintiff $5 million.
- An employer fired a gay motel manager for being incompetent.
The manager then sued claiming he was the victim of a hostile
environment and the "real" termination reason was he
was gay. The jury awarded the manager $11,200,000.
Although I don't know the supervisors in each of these cases,
I'm sure they wish they would've kept these staff members. The
cost of firing was too high for their supervisory careers and their
Let me define a high-risk worker. A high-risk worker is someone
who's likely to sue the company and win. For example, a worker
who's sleeping with the boss is high risk when you terminate her.
She'll be angry about the termination (and the end of her relationship)
and will prove the boss illegally harassed her.
As you read this, you probably are saying to yourself, "If
I can't fire a high-risk worker, how can I ever get rid of him?"
The answer is through negotiations. You delicately approach the
high-risk worker and ask him to leave voluntarily. As part of your
negotiations, you offer him a healthy severance package in return
for a release of claims. This release prevents the worker from
ever suing you. And paying the severance is cheap when you compare
it to losing a wrongful termination suit.
More often than not, the worker will take this deal after some
negotiating. Likely, he wants to leave the company as much as you
want to get rid of him. He knows the company doesn't want him,
and he would prefer working for a company which does. So most of
time, a negotiated termination leads to a happy ending for everybody.
If the worker doesn't take the deal, then that's all right, too.
You don't have to worry about a wrongful termination claim because
you never fired him. And, he can never say you forced him out because
you made the separation voluntary.
To find out more about how to fire properly, you should get a
copy of “Employee Termination Guidebook” by Dan Betts.
In this book, you’ll learn how to fire high-risk (and medium
and low risk) workers using simple procedures. It shows you exactly
how to protect yourself from legal action. Click problem
employee procedures to discover how to fire and layoff properly.