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Are You "Underutilizing" Your Employment Liability Tools?

by Andrew SzczesniakJanuary 27, 2015 7:00 AM

So you have that “bad apple” employee that you have to get rid of. He’s a pain in your side. Your management team spends an inordinate amount of time dealing with him and frankly, his co-workers don’t like him either. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Wrong.

When letting an employee go for cause, you need to make sure that you’re protecting yourself from the liability of:

  1. An unemployment claim that will drive your unemployment insurance up, cutting into your margins or putting you in a competitive disadvantage with your competitors
  2. A potential discrimination lawsuit filed by the employee
  3. A possible violation of either the FMLA or ADA that will have the federal government breathing down your back

How do you avoid these pitfalls? As with all things, there’s an easy way and a hard way.

 

Picture of a rotten apple. Think it's easy to fire bad employees? Make sure you're protecting yourself from employer liabilities.

The Hard Way

You do have tools that are available to you. According to a recent National Law Review piece, the three most underutilized tools to protect employers from liability are: the extra step, job descriptions, and the gut check.

These harken back to the proper documentation and making sure that a systematic process is followed before terminating an employee for cause.

That brings us to the definition of the “hard way”. You have to make sure that you have accurate, up-to-date job descriptions in place along with an established, documented protocol that you follow. You can easily address all of those things during your downtime (evenings, early mornings and weekends).

The Easy Way

The easy way is to find an inexpensive and cost and time-efficient way in managing your unemployment. The most efficient way of handling these things is through the use of a PEO (Professional Employer Organization). PEOs can look at your operation and put together a comprehensive employee management plan that protects you, your employees and helps reduce employee cost and liability.

To learn more how a PEO can help your business, contact us today.

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