The employment attorneys at Nardone Limited, in Columbus, Ohio, regularly assist our business clients with labor and employment law issues, including employment disputes and terminations. We routinely advise our business owners that the most valuable, yet most expensive, asset a business may have is its talent (i.e., the employees). We spend a lot of time trying to: (i) hire the right people, (ii) ensure the employee is in the right position, and (iii) retain that employee long-term. As business owners and employers, we also spend time nurturing our employees, with the hope that those employees become great assets and long-term loyal members of the business.
Why does the Employer Struggle with the Idea of Terminating an Employee?
Unfortunately, we work with many employers that are negatively impacted by employees that simply do not fit within their business. There are many reasons why an employee may not fit within the business. For example, the employee may be a disgruntled individual, someone that causes animosity between other staff members, does not follow direction, is insubordinate, or just may simply be the wrong person for the role that the business is trying to fill. Yet, instead of terminating the employee, employers routinely procrastinate and avoid the confrontation, allowing these employees to negatively impact the business.
The employer avoids the conflict because they hope the employee’s conduct will change, and therefore the employer tends to avoid the uncomfortable event of terminating the employee. In fact, it is not unusual for an employer to allow an employee to remain in the position for over a year after a determination has been made that the employee is the wrong fit. The most common reason this happens is because the employer simply does not want to deal with the confrontation or the potential stress of terminating an employee.
As an Employer, We Must Take Swift and Decisive Action to Minimize Disruption and Maximize Profits
As part of representing and advising employers, we at Nardone Limited advise our business clients to follow the rule of “hire slow and fire fast.” Once the determination is made that a particular employee is not a good fit, we advise the employer to take immediate steps to minimize disruption and maximize profit. Although we cannot put a specific value on the negative impact an employee has on the business’s net profit, we know that it can and will negatively impact the business.
Consistency is a key factor of every profitable business. The business needs consistency to forecast, budget, and set expectations. This idea of consistency includes having consistent performance from the business’s employees. If not, the business will experience disruption and negative impact on profit. Thus, once the business decides that a particular employee is not a good fit, the employer must take immediate steps to terminate that employee. Do not procrastinate, do not question, and do not allow a year to pass before you take that action.
Do Not Forget about Best Practices and Due Diligence
There are certain steps that are necessary before making the decision to terminate an employee. As a first step, the employer should contact the appropriate human resource or legal professional. Human resources or the legal professional can advise the employer on the steps necessary for the termination, including the necessary due diligence and documentation the employer must have. Typically, Nardone Limited consults and advises our clients through a termination checklist, which ensures that any risk as it relates to that termination is minimized. Generally, we advise the employer to terminate the employee versus dealing with the ongoing fall out of failing to terminate an individual, as it may cause a destructive impact within the business and negatively impact the employer’s net profit.
Terminating an employee is often a difficult, yet necessary decision for any employer. Unfortunately, it is also a decision that may lead to potential liability for the employer if not handled correctly. As a result, the employment attorneys at Nardone Limited recommend that employers contact us to identify any potential issues before terminating an employee. Nardone Limited can handle the full spectrum of employment law, including providing consulting advice, assistance with separation agreements, conducting internal employer investigations, defending EEOC or other administrative investigations, and handling litigation alleging wrongful termination or other employee claims. If you would like more information on the EEOC or the OCRC, or need advice or representation in an employment dispute, contact one of our employment attorneys today.