Today we are going to be talking about the act of terminating an employee in Missouri. If an employee’s unacceptable behavior advances to the termination stage, ask yourself these questions:
-Have I given the employee a chance to improve?
-Have I or would I let another employee go for the same infraction?
-Do I have documentation of prior counseling?
-Who will witness the termination?
-Do I feel the employee could be dangerous?
-Do I need security?
It’s important to consider these things so that you can make sure you do not face a Wrongful Termination lawsuit. Employees may choose to take legal action if they feel they can show they were fired for discriminatory reasons, violations of an employment contract, or in retaliation for exercising their rights to things like FMLA or filing workers’ compensation. Consult with us for other reasons former employees may try to take legal action for Wrongful Termination.
During the termination, it is important to have a witness present. Don’t apologize. Stick to the facts and the reason for the termination. Note the patterns of behavior that were unacceptable. Refer to the previous counseling sessions and warnings. If a company policy was violated, provide the employee with a copy of the policy, and also include that in the termination paperwork. Conclude with a collection of company property and what the employee can expect regarding the final paycheck and applicable benefits. Some employers choose to offer severance pay. This is not a requirement in the state of Missouri. Typically, as part of the severance agreement, the employer asks the employee to sign a release in exchange. If the employee signs the release then they waive all legal claims they may have had against the employer. If you as an employer seek a release then you must provide severance or some other consideration in addition to the payments the employee was already due.
For more helpful HR tips and information to keep your business in compliance, contact Beimdiek Insurance.