Q & A – We want to terminate an employee. Can we? What are our legal risks?

Q: We want to terminate an employee. Can we? What are our legal risks?

A: The employer and employee are free to terminate an at-will employment relationship at any time, with or without notice, for any reason.  However, there is no foolproof way to ensure that a performance management system and the decisions that result from it will be safe from litigation.  We recommend that employers call an attorney at Employers Council for legal advice.  It may also be helpful to have help scripting this difficult conversation and HR professionals at Employers Council can assist with that conversation.

Supervisors and HR professionals can minimize the potential of legal challenges to performance-related decisions by ensuring that the performance management system and performance appraisals and supporting documentation are well-documented and substantiated, accurate and factual, and administered correctly (e.g., according to policy, on time, discussed with the employee).