Be In the Know

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.
    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    When to Terminate an Employee (& How to Do It Legally)

    March 15, 2023

    Is it time to terminate an employee? How do you know for sure? And how do you let someone go in a respectful (and legal) way? 

    Firing someone is hard — it can be highly emotional, even if you feel confident in your decision. Termination is also a minefield for compliance. If you do something wrong, you can open yourself up to lawsuits, which are stressful and expensive, especially if your former employee hires a big-time lawyer.

    So how do you avoid an unpleasant, costly situation when you terminate an employee?

    This episode covers all the critical HR topics surrounding employee termination:

    • Managing the introductory period: This is your chance to set expectations, offer training, provide feedback, and ensure you and your employee are on the same page.
    • Making the decision: Check your biases and review your interactions with the employee to ensure you have legitimate grounds for termination.
    • Communicating well: Hold performance evaluations and be very clear on areas of improvement.
    • Documenting everything: Document all those performance evaluations, KPIs, onboarding materials, and areas of improvement, so you can prove that you gave the employee a chance to avoid termination.
    • Having the conversation: Decide how to communicate (in person, over Zoom, etc.), and include a witness, especially if you expect hostility.
    • Following up: Make sure you follow your state’s laws for final pay and exit interviews and give other team members the chance to request feedback and reassurance.
    • Analyzing your process: Frequent turnover is a sign that something’s wrong, so find places to adjust your hiring and management processes.

    Sometimes managing a team means making the hard decisions. But think about your other employees — keeping an underperforming worker isn’t fair to the rest of your team members who are doing their jobs well. Read about how to terminate an underperforming employee here, and the HR do’s and don’t’s of involuntary termination here. And while you’re planning for termination, though it isn’t fun, you can be sure to be prepared with a termination checklist from our template shop!

    Have you ever had to terminate an employee? How did you make the decision and complete the process? Let me know — tag @theparadigmm or send me a DM on Instagram! And don’t forget to review and share this episode with any small business owners you know.

    Listen Now!

    Links mentioned:

    The Paradigm Blog Post: Terminating an Under-Performing Employee

    The Paradigm Blog Post: Involuntary Termination: The HR Do’s & Don’t’s

    Set to Scale: Employee Termination Checklist 






    Copyright © 2020-2023 Paradigm people operations Consulting. All Rights Reserved.



    Stay in the Know

    Subscribe to stay up to date with small business news and compliance for your online business.



    Disclaimer: NOT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. All information provided on this Website and/or in its Services is for educational and informational purposes only. This information should not be taken as legal advice, professional advice, opinions, or recommendations for you and your business. It is strongly advised that any information purchased or seen on this site is reviewed by an attorney or an expert in the city and state in which you live. No user of the Website or Services should act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of information included on this Website or Services without first consulting legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

    CLIENT portal

    Template Shop