As an employer in Alaska, you want to make sure that you have the best staff possible to meet your company’s goals. Terminating employees that do not meet these criteria may be essential to ensuring the success of your business.
Getting fired from a job can be devastating to an employee, both financially and emotionally. As a result, they may take their sadness and frustration out on your company by filing a wrongful termination claim against you. However, just because an employee does not agree with the termination does not mean it was illegal in any way.
Preventing wrongful termination
There are ways for employers to protect themselves against wrongful termination claims before they arise. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Allow for improvement: You are more likely to get sued if the employee does not expect to be terminated. Provide your employee with regular performance evaluations and give them a chance to improve. If an employee is not meeting expectations, you may put them on a performance improvement plan. Employees who have been made aware of their actions on multiple occasions won’t be surprised if they are later fired, and they will be less likely to take legal action.
- Less severe disciplinary measures: Termination should be a last resort option. Verbal and written warnings, restriction of privileges, suspensions and required trainings may be used to discipline an employee before terminating them.
Defending against wrongful termination claims
If you have been accused of wrongfully terminating an employee, your will need to prove that the reasons for termination were not unlawful. The best way to do this is to establish a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for termination (e.g., poor work performance). Providing evidence of the employee’s behaviors as well as disciplinary actions taken against the employee in the past could help prove your case.
Employers facing wrongful termination suits have to worry about protecting their reputations, as well as their financial status. It may be in your best interest you may hire an employment law attorney to help defend against the claims you face.