3 Critical Components to Consider Before Terminating an Employee

employee holding box

Letting an employee go is never as straightforward as it seems. Below find three steps you should take to protect your business when terminating an employee. 

Perhaps one of the less favourable jobs of running a business, unfortunately firing employee(s) comes with the territory.

The reason you have could be one of many – not enough work, misconduct, they don’t fit with the team… regardless of the cause, there are three steps you need to take every time you process a termination to help protect your business from potential litigation.

1) Ensure that your policies are continually updated and compliant with relevant legislation and the ever-evolving common law.  

Laws are constantly being updated. As an employer, it is your job to stay abreast of these changes. Keeping your business practices in line with government legislation may not be fun, but it is critical. 

It’s not easy. You already have so much more to manage! But doing so could mean the difference between winning or losing allegations brought against your organization. 

At Bridge Legal & HR, we have dealt with cases where the defendant would have been better off if they had been up to date with policies and applied them consistently, which is our next point.

2) Ensure policies are applied consistently.

In Schultz v. Canada Lands Company CLC Limited, 2019 ONSC 2124, the employer alleged cause when an employee was found to have been sharing confidential information. However, because the employer was inconsistent with applying its policies, it was found that dismissal for cause was not justified.

Having the right policies and procedures in place is not enough – if you don’t follow them.

 It’s easy to brush them aside and get what needs to be done quickly and without all the paperwork. This is almost always the wrong approach. It is better for your business in the long run if you take the right steps every time you let an employee go – even if it means hiring a professional to help. 

3) Professional, expert legal advice should always be sought before terminating an employee, especially if contemplating a termination for cause. 

Terminations for cause must meet a high threshold to be effective. 

It is often easier and sometimes cheaper to dismiss an employee without cause and pay the severance due. Alleging cause and defending it in court is not all that simple as the employer in Schultz v. Canada Lands Company CLC Limited, 2019 ONSC 2124 found out. 

(To learn more about this case, read our overview here.)

Whichever route you decide to take, 

No matter the circumstances of the termination, 

If you need help, the professionals at Bridge Legal & HR can help. They have experience defending employers from lawsuits and have helped them implement correct policies and procedures to protect their businesses from future litigation. 

The professionals at Bridge Legal can also help take the stress and work involved with processing a termination off your plate. 

Call them today at (647) 794-5442 or email them at admin@bridgelegalhr.ca to get their help. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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