Deliberations on the termination should be kept within a small circle, and details beyond the fact of the termination should only be provided on a need-to-know basis. A statement that the company made the decision to terminate based upon specific grounds (poor performance, absenteeism) will suffice. If challenged, stick to stating a summary of the company rule or expectation that the employee failed to meet. Avoid inflammatory adjectives and phrasing. Insubordination is a valid reason to terminate. “Rank” insubordination is an unnecessary escalation of a difficult conversation. “Absenteeism” is grounds for dismissal. “Job abandonment” is a legal term of art, however, and should be used only when actual job abandonment has taken place.
Explore This IssueMay 2012
Careful planning and calm consideration can make the difference between proper termination and wrongful termination, avoiding a costly lawsuit and a poor public image.
Steven M. Harris, Esq., is a health care attorney and a member of the law firm McDonald Hopkins, LLC. Reach him at email@example.com.
Reprinted with permission from the American College of Rheumatology.