Giving a foreman the ability to fire someone.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by johnnybow, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    Mark, you realize that's a gross oversimplification of an at-will state's employment laws, right? If you flex the muscles of at-will employment, you're much better off by terminating without giving reason. Giving reason opens possible doors to challenging, and an at-will state does not mean you can fire for any reason.

    As for horse hockey, love that phrase. Rest in peace, Colonel Potter.
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,289

    You've never fired someone for a personal reason?

    If I own the company and can't get along with an employee, even if they are doing a good job, is it wrong or against the law?

    Why would it need to be in the handbook if they are the person's superior?

    The second question is where the training comes in.

    I have a guy working for me right now that has supervised more people than I have, at his past job. For a nationwide company. Pretty sure he knows more about properly firing someone than I do. But I can't trust him?

    Yes, I do Tony. And you are absolutely correct, better to give no reason at all.

    MASH, forever a classic. :drinkup:
  3. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445


    Grandview, yes we all have huge human resource depts that the employees can go to for information. Come on!! Most of us are small to medium sized businesses....a handbook and P&P need to be in place, but as long as you check state and federal laws on firing employees, you should be all set. Anyone can sue you for any reason, doesn't mean they are going to win in court! Be professional and document it all and it will be fine. As far as I'm concerned it should be the owner's responsibility to hire and fire. Foreman can make strong suggestions, but he shouldn't have to do the dirty work.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,289

    I'm not going to go into it because I can't remember the specific details, but there are valid reasons for having someone else perform hiring\firing. Something to do with reducing liability of the owner\officers.

    That was a long time ago. I'll try to clean the cobwebs out of my brain and see if I can remember.
  5. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    I was just putting out the human resource thing. So you give the foreman the ok to fire someone. Then what, he does it again ,then one more time. Need to start thinking and give involved with it. Courts and lawyers cost money win or lose.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    And how many people sue over losing a landscaping laborer job?

    I hate firing people but as the owner it is your job. But the term foreman is thrown around allot and can mean different things to different people and companies. If the guy ran a 2-3 man crew including himself I wouldn't give him that power. But if he supervised the lawn operations and had 20 guys or more under him then yes he would answer to me and they would answer to him and he would have that power.

    Middle management does it all the time say you owned a dozen subway franchises you going to tell me the manager of one of them couldn't hire and fire at will. We just happen to have a more hands on owner type of trade and so hiring and firing is traditionally our job but it could be delegated if you choose.
  7. nealster

    nealster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Absolutely not, he is not hired to manage your company, he is hired to run the crew. If you want to get rid of someone, have documented offenses otherwise you will be subject to a lawsuit, even if you are in a right to work state.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    YES. it's done all the time. We have a gentelman that seemed to be accident prone. One day he cost us over 3,000.00 in 2 hours. NOT only did the foreman FIRE HIM. he called me to come take the guy away from the site. he would NOT let him even sit in the truck and wait
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,289

    These statements are ridiculous.

    So you are saying that the likes of Brickman and other companies with 20, 50 or 100 employees do not allow foreman to terminate an employee? The owner does it all?

    And the last statement is just absurd. This has nothing to do with right to work, we are talking "at-will" employment.

    You do NOT have to have documented offenses. Stop giving out bad information.

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