I am an employer. A new employee just is not working out. If i Fire him am I at risk for a wrongful termination lawsuit?

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Question:

I am an employer, and one of my employees just isn't working out.  He has been at my place of business a few weeks past his probationary period, and I had hopes that he would improve, but I just don't see it.  If I fire him, will I face a wrongful termination lawsuit?

Answer:

I would suggest that you educate yourself with the wrong termination and at-will employment laws in your state, paying particular attention to the exceptions that your state may recognize.  You also need to be meticulous in your record keeping, documenting each disciplinary action against this employee in writing, make sure he reads and signs each one, and give him a copy.  If you have some sort of employment contract with this employee, that will also affect his capacity to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against you.

The next step would be to consult the human resources or legal department of your company, if you have one.  The Department of Labor is also a good resource.  They can give you some insight on your rights and responsibilities regarding employees.  You could also consult an attorney who is knowledgeable about wrong termination lawsuits.

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