In the present economic state, many companies may take the chance to prune under-performing workers or may need to decrease staff to cut costs. Firing employees can be among the toughest and nerve-racking functions of a manager. Aside from the psychological element, there are numerous legal concerns that have to be considered. Proper preparation for the termination can decrease the threats of a discrimination suit of the company and lowering morale of remaining workers. A mixture of groundwork and documentation are the keys to a favorable termination.
Termination in the State of Virginia
Virginia is an “at will” employment state, which suggests that unless there is an employment contract that has other provisions, an employee could be fired at the will of the employer. Terminating an employee should be the last option. Having good and nicely written job descriptions, good hiring and interviewing procedures, providing purposeful coaching and feedback to workers during employment and having routine performance evaluations can help prevent the requirement to terminate workers.
Have a review
Before deciding to terminate, it’s essential to review personnel file and an employee’s performance. Review any performance appraisals, cautions or alternative correspondence together with the worker that’s in the file. Review the business’s disciplinary procedures and termination policy and processes. If appropriate, meet the employee to review shortcomings and provide the employee the opportunity to improve. If the employee is in a protected class due to age, sex, race, etc., you’re well-served to consult an employment attorney prior to the termination to lessen the opportunities or success of a post-employment discrimination suit.
Severance Payments- Are they eligible?
In Virginia, no severance payments are required by law – severance payments are a matter of contract between the employee and the company. Many companies decide to terminate employee’s sign an agreement in which they get a severance payment in exchange for agreeing not to sue the business. These agreements are very hard to draft, as they need to incorporate provisions of multiple federal discrimination statutes, which change often through court interpretation, agency regulation, or legislation. Have employment counsel draft waiver beforehand and the agreement. Employees may have up to 21 days under national statutes to think about the arrangement.
Keep details about the employee’s termination confidential to maintain the employee’s solitude. It’s very important, nonetheless, to reassure your remaining workers that their jobs aren’t in danger. Let them are aware that the worker has left the company. It’s also vital that you act fast to get the terminated employee’s work reassigned along with a job opening posted, if needed.