Staying clear of legal liability when hiring and sacking

5 April 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


Business companies often hire employees to help them achieve their business objectives, and those employees have an important role in the success of a company. However, there comes a time when the best option is to relieve a problematic employee of their duties. The issue is that the sacked employee may not be in agreement that with the termination letter. In fact, they may even react to the sacking by filing a lawsuit against your company.

Lawsuits of wrongful sacking based on racial bias, gender discrimination or any other element can lead to a protracted battle in the corridors of justice. If you end up on the losing side, you will have to part with a significant settlement and, even worse, be obliged to reinstate the individual back to his work position. Along with seeking advice from your employment lawyer, here are some of the things you can do to steer clear of such calamitous situations.

Clarify all job requirements right from the onset

Your employment lawyer can help you draft in writing what is expected of all your employees during work hours and have every employee append their signature confirming their acceptance. Make sure each employee gets a copy of the job requirements. This way, an employee cannot claim that you devised a cunning 'special requirements' section in an attempt to relieve them of their duties. Moreover, it makes the job's stipulations clear, which helps improve employee performance from the onset. 

Promote your preferred workplace culture

Typically, a toxic worker can plant the seeds of animosity at the workplace because of a lack of knowledge on company culture. Don't allow an employee to get used to sniping, abusing or bullying their workmates. Arrange for a performance meeting with the problematic worker and come up with written plan for corrective actions. Allowing particular types of antagonistic work environments to carry on may eventually result in a successful legal action against you. 

Document all wrongdoings that contributed to a firing

The best thing you can do when you encounter a troublesome employee who is unwilling to change is to let them go sooner rather than later. As your employment lawyer will tell you, it's prudent to document all things that the individual did or failed to do that contributed to the ultimate decision of firing. Good records can protect you in lawsuits by showing that your reasons for termination were reasonable.