Discipline and Termination

Once an employer has made the decision to terminate an employee, specific steps should be followed to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and the business is protected.  

Terminating employees is part of business management. There is a right way to do this and a way that opens your business up to legal risk. This post discusses how employers can terminate employees while protecting their business.


Thinking of letting someone at your company go? While there are often many considerations when you have to fire an employee, here are five key points to cover.

Can you really fire someone for any reason? This informative Colorado employment law post explores the at-will employment doctrine and its exceptions.

Allegations about a former employee could be completely new, or they may revisit allegations that were raised earlier. The principles that apply to other investigations are still used, though in a slightly different way... 

We have created a folk theory about trust that is mistaken. I hear from leaders: "If I did that, not one here would ever trust me again!" Or, from followers, "I don't think I can ever trust him or this place ever again!" This allows a spirit of distrust to become the common corporate standard, and a long downhill slide. 

One of many tough aspects to child abuse investigation is the level of accountability organizations can incur if a perpetrator goes on to abuse other children. If an organization knows or suspects a problem in that area, and lets the person go, but doesn't share that information, ... 

Hi Brent, In your scenario, the undesirable employee is a toxic person, who has done illegal or unethical things. That is completely different from my proposed scenario, and now we are in the situation where they do need to be removed quite promptly, perhaps even “marched out the door.” 

Insightful comments, Theresa, however, I am going to push the envelope here a bit. Your approach above would work if there is nothing the person has done which is illegal or unethical, or reputation damaging but what if, as a leader, I come across illegal or unethical behavior, and that person just needs to go? 

Brent, your question about the “march the employee out the door” termination raises a couple of interesting points, and follows on from a thought-provoking discussion I had with a colleague who works in the large corporate setting.