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.

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).