How can businesses avoid wrongful termination claims?

There comes a point when businesses of all sizes need to hire new employees. While this is a normal course of business, companies in Louisiana and elsewhere also need to deal with the possibility of having to fire an employee. Although this is not an ideal task, some situations arise when it becomes necessary. Whether it is due to downsizing, poor performance, violations of company standards or other similar instances, business owners have the right to terminate the employment of their employees if a situation presents itself. Nonetheless, even if an employer rightfully terminated an employee, an employee might still exert wrongful termination.

How can businesses avoid wrongful termination claims? The first thing to do to ensure a proper termination of an employee is to not carry it out as a spur of the moment decision but rather a well-documented process. This allows an employer to provide evidence that their actions were justified and the process was carried out appropriately.

Before initiating the termination process, it is important that employers do their research on both state and federal laws, ensuring that they do have cause and reason. Employers should be familiar with employment regulations such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents discriminatory firing of an employee based on their age, race, sex, religion or disability.

If a termination is based on performance, employers should begin collecting all evidence and documentation what would prove this situation. This could also help with an employer liability defense and a claim is brought against an employer.

Employment litigation issues can be complex and in some situations are unavoidable. Therefore, employers should prepare themselves by becoming aware of their rights and options in this matter. This could help them resolve disputes whether it is negotiating a matter or reaching an agreement in court.

Source:, "How to Fire an Employee ... The Right Way," Nicole Fallon, May 6, 2015

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