|March 1, 2014 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Webster’s Dictionary defines “termination” as “the act of ending” or “the end.” In the employment context, “termination” often is intended to be the end of the employment relationship. Perhaps the employee caused problems with coworkers, was an underperformer, violated company policies, or all of the above. Although terminations generally are stressful and unpleasant experiences for all, employers hope that this change will eliminate problems.
Unfortunately, an employee termination can be the source of a new problem for the employer and the beginning of another relationship between the employer and the now former employee. The former employee may file a wrongful termination claim alleging that his former boss and employer did something wrong. The employer’s “wrongdoing” may be as simple as failure to take consistent disciplinary action or the timing of the termination itself.
While it’s often true that the employee “should have been terminated a long time ago” (or should have never been hired, as is often lamented), bad timing and inconsistency often overshadow bad performance and conduct and increase the chances that termination will not be the end.