Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious you need to terminate an employee. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to investigate and document your decision.
Recent case: Theodore worked under a contract as an agent recruiter for an insurer. Despite rules against recruiting friends and family, he hired his girlfriend.
Then the affair went bad and the two fought at work. She claimed he hit her, but he maintained he merely pushed papers off her desk and stomped on her sunglasses. At any rate, she reported the incident to police, got a restraining order and quit.
The insurer investigated by interviewing both parties. It concluded Theodore violated his contract and terminated it. He sued, alleging breach of contract.
It was a slam-dunk win for the insurer, since it had investigated the incident and documented the interviews. (Farmer’s Insurance, et al., v. West, et al., No. 11-2297, DC MN, 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be prepared to defend retaliation lawsuit if fired worker had ever complained to HR
- Be Wary of Firing Overpaid Employee
- Complaint + sudden criticism = retaliation
- Employee lied during internal investigation? That's a firing offense you can act on