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Firing Poor Performers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 25, 2006

If an employee is terminated and sues for wrongful termination, an employer will need documentation as part of the legal defense to help show it did not act arbitrarily. Even if the employee was employed “at will,” things can happen during an employment relationship to undermine at-will employment. In that case, an employer will need to show it had legitimate reasons to terminate the employee. And documentation of performance issues and conversations with the employee about it are some of the best proof.

Also, keep in mind that a jury could be the ultimate decision-maker about an employer’s liability. An employer is better positioned to obtain a favorable outcome if a jury is presented with written evidence proving that the employer engaged in ongoing communications about performance problems and set clear expectations for the employee.

While fairness may or may not be a specific issue in every case of wrongful termination, a corporate employer will always be viewed more favorably by a jury if it believes the employer acted fairly. After all, many jurors are employees and not employers. Click here for full article

Barrie Gross
Employment Lawyer and Human Resources Trainer and Consultant
San Francisco

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