View Full Version : Firing employees

08-17-2003, 04:42 PM
In 10 years I have never had to fire an employee. Now I have a guy that has to go because he is just too lazy, can't follow orders and just doesn't learn anything. He started without any experience and I gave him alot of chances to learn but he is useless. I never documented anything as far as problems with his work so what is the best way to go about it without causing myself any problems?

08-17-2003, 05:04 PM
can u cut back on his hours untill he quits?

08-17-2003, 05:42 PM
Not really. The reason I hired this kid (19) in the first place is his father works for me. I don't have them work together but they drive together. I don't want to make him sit at the yard until his father get's in.

08-17-2003, 10:28 PM
Here are the top 4 reasons workers don't do what you want them to:

1. They think they are doing it.
2. They don't know how to do it.
3. They became distracted while doing it.
4. They just won't do it.

Reaons 1 thru 3 can be solved thru training. Reason 4 - they must go.

08-17-2003, 10:49 PM
Sounds like you have an extra consideration in terms of how you fired the kid with respect to the fact the father is working for you. Technically it's none of his business, but you may have to have a conversation with him after the fact.

Do you have an employee manual? If you do have one and it lists reasons that an employee can be fired (e.g. Failure to follow directions/complete the job, etc) would be ground for firing the guy. The best thing is if you've got a signed document stating the employee understands and accepts the employee manual with these rules.

If you've had conversations with the guy and explained the expectations you have and he has agreed to them, then I would recommend a conversation where you address the expectations again and explain how he is not meeting them. See if he agrees/disagrees. Ask him if he is happy working for you? Would he be happier working some where else? Just maybe if you're luck he'll quit thinking the grass is greener elsewhere. If he won't go on his own, then you'll have to clearly explain to him why his performance is not acceptable.

Ultimately if he won't go and the situation can't be resolved through training, coaching and teaching, then as MWM said, they just don't want to change or do what is needed. Offer him the opportunity to resign which will bode better for him than if you fire him. See what choice he makes.

Team Gopher
08-18-2003, 04:54 AM
Hi Henry,

Here are two articles that may give you more insight into firing employees.

Best Practices for Employee Termination (http://www.wetfeet.com/employer/articles/article.asp?aid=389)

How Not to Fire an Employee: A Plaintiff's Lawyer's Perspective (http://www.similawyer.com/HowNotToFire.htm)

John Allin
08-18-2003, 09:00 AM
Team Gopher...

I read both of those articles. And, printed them off to give to our HR Director.

Thank you.

08-18-2003, 10:16 AM
I would just make sure next time to document every discipline action

08-18-2003, 11:24 AM
1. verbal warning
2. written warning
3. suspension
4. discharge

Document ALL disciplinary measures. I won a case against an ex-employee at my last job because I had a "paper trail". Good luck!

08-18-2003, 07:30 PM
Try sending him out with his dad...he'll prolly get a fire in him going...if not, maybe the dad will come talk to you about letting him go..

08-19-2003, 12:28 AM
Call up Tony Soprano and have him send over a couple guys to make this kid 'disappear'. Problem solved!

:D :D :D

Team Gopher
08-19-2003, 07:45 AM
Hi John,

You are welcome. We are here to help :)

08-19-2003, 08:51 AM
You don't have to go through stepped disciplinary actions if your employee manual doesn't say you have a stepped program. Makes it easier on you if you don't. All to often the stock manuals out there that one might emulate uses a stepped program. Make your life easier and just say xxx infractions may be the cause of disciplinary action up to termination at the disccretion of the company.

And yes, document everything. It's a pain, but document it.

08-20-2003, 10:14 PM
Thanks for all the replys. I ended up firing him in the morning when I pulled up and he was sitting down while the others were all working. He didn't take it badly at all. I think he wanted to get fired so he could collect UI.

I don't have an policy manual right now, but I think I'll work on one for next year. For those of you that have manuals, how did existing employees feel about having to agree in writing to all your rules?

08-23-2003, 07:15 PM
People like structure. It don't think it's a problem, particularly when you explain how it will benefit them.

John Allin
08-23-2003, 09:42 PM
...and that if they don't agree, they can go work elsewhere.....