Grace Ferguson reports:
"Most businesses need employees to operate efficiently. However, when an employee refuses to take the necessary steps to improve his performance, the employer has little choice but to fire him...Verify that the employee’s actions or work performance justify termination. Have a company policy in place that specifies reasons for termination, such as poor job performance, theft or violation of workplace conduct rules. Typically, an employee is fired after she has already received verbal and written warnings about the issue, unless the matter is extreme enough to warrant immediate dismissal...Ensure you have proof of the reason you are firing the employee...Contact your state's department of labor for laws on terminating an employee...If notice is required in your state, give it before firing the employee. Familiarize yourself with federal laws as well...Handle the termination promptly and privately, behind closed doors. Unless the employee poses a physical threat to you or other employees -- in which case the police or security should be called -- treat the employee with respect and dignity during the termination process. Firing the employee in front of her coworkers negatively affects her, and the remaining staff and work environment...Be direct, honest and specific with the employee about why you are terminating him. Explain to the employee where he went wrong and show him documents that support your decision. Treat the matter as a workplace issue by being objective rather than emotional...Pay the employee final wages according to state law. You can pay final wages immediately upon termination. If you choose to delay payment, ensure that you do so in accordance with the law...Final wages typically include all compensation due to the employee at the time of termination, such as regular and overtime earnings and bonuses and commissions. Check state law for rules concerning paying accrued vacation time upon termination...Advise the employee of benefits he might be entitled to...Explain to the employee that she might be entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. The general rule is that employees who are terminated through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment benefits. However, an employee who was fired might be eligible as well, depending on the reason she was fired...Keep federal- and state-mandated posters in a conspicuous place where employees can see them. In Texas, such posters include those relating to unemployment, workers’ compensation, minimum wage and the Family Medical Leave Act...To ensure that you fire an employee in a legal manner, contact the state labor department or an employment attorney for the specifics on handling the situation."
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