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Reasons to Terminate a Problem Employee

The sensible way to fire an at will employee...

A problem employee can damage your business in many ways. He or she can slow down production, cause other employees to become disgruntled, be a safety hazard, or even cause legal troubles. Therefore, it is important for you to either get a problem employee in shape or to terminate him or her before it leads to more problems.

Having Production Slowed by a Problem Employee

You may not realize it, but a problem employee can significantly slow down production. For example, if the problem employee is routinely late arriving to work, production may cease altogether as the other workers wait for the employee to arrive. Or, even if production continues, it may slow down as a less skilled worker tries to take over. The same is true for an employee who purposely works slowly, who abuses break privileges, or who simply doesn’t pay attention to his or her job and makes too many mistakes.

Causing Other Employees to Become Disgruntled Because of a Problem Employee

If you do not take action against the problem employee, this person can quickly and easily cause your other employees to become disgruntled. First, your other employees may believe you are discriminating against them when you come down on them and do not come down on the problem employee. And, by allowing the problem employee to get away with his or her behavior, you are setting a precedent that tells your other employees it is OK to behave in a problematic way. Before you know it, you will have an entire crew of problem employees rather than just one!

Experiencing Safety Hazards Because of a Problem Employee

A problem employee can easily be a safety hazard for your other employees as well as for him or herself. If the problem employee is negligent, for example, he or she may not properly follow safety procedures. Even a chronically late problem employee can cause safety problems as other employees try to pick up the slack or to speed up and catch up on production when the employee finally makes it in.

Experiencing Legal Problems Because of a Problem Employee

A problem employee puts you at an increased risk of experiencing legal problems. Other employees may file suit against you for failure to act on the problems you are having with the employee. If the employee is harassing other employees, for example, a court can find you guilty of failing to discipline the employee for his or her actions. In addition, if the problem employee is violating safety procedures and hurts someone, a court will find you liable.

So, while it may be difficult to fire an employee, particularly if you have formed a relationship with that person, you must consider your business and your other employees. Do what is right and remove the problem employee from your workforce before you are sorry you didn’t.

Is a problem employee making your life miserable? Here's what to do...

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