15 Questions To Ask Before You Fire Someone

Firing an employee is not a pleasant part of anyone’s job. Unfortunately when you work in HR, the burden of telling someone that they are fired often falls on your shoulders. It’s not something you look forward to, but it is part of the job – and it never gets any easier.

Boss firing employee with box in hands picture

How To Fire An Employee And Avoid Getting Sued

Firing someone isn’t like ripping off a bandage. You shouldn’t do it quickly and just get it over with. Instead you need to stop and think through ever little detail. If you don’t, you might get sued by a disgruntled employee. Before you ever utter the words, “You’re Fired,” you need to assess the whole situation.

Be sure to consider these 15 questions to ask before you fire someone:

  1. Am I following company policy?
  2. Are my reasons for firing this person valid?
  3. What did the person do wrong?
  4. Do I have proof and documentation?
  5. Have I issued regular performance reviews?
  6. Has the employee receive adequate warnings?
  7. Did the employee have a chance to remedy the situation?
  8. Has anyone else been fired for the same thing in the past?
  9. Is there any evidence of discrimination?
  10. What’s the best time and place to let them go?
  11. How is this employee going to respond to the bad news?
  12. What other things like documentation, benefits, etc, need to get taken care of?
  13. Am I following all laws?
  14. Does the employee have a legally binding contract?
  15. How do I tell the rest of the team?

It’s your responsibility to ask all of these questions and more. Always consult with your company’s legal team to make sure that you abide by any and all laws.

Firing an employee is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. Be kind. Take the time to consider the necessary questions to ask before you fire someone. It could make a difference in your final decision.

See Also: 16 Reasons Why People Quit Their Jobs

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