How to fire for employee misconduct fairly and legally.
Procedure and forms.
Despite an employee's grave misconduct, the employer and the
human resource department often find themselves inadequately
equipped to handle such individuals. Employers must develop guidelines
so managers and Human Resource professionals can handle misconduct
in a consistent, efficient and fair manner.
Implications of misconduct
How do you define misconduct? There are several ways. Some types
of misconduct are not too serious while others are grave enough
to force management to fire an employee. Some forms of misconduct
include intentional breaking of rules, fraud against the company,
working while drunk or drugged, having drugs in ones possession
and violating the company’s code of conduct. Other types
of misconduct involve other people like undignified behavior
towards coworkers or higher authority or behavior that may affect
the reputation of other employees or the company.
Principles associated with misconduct
First, the employer or the management must allow the employee
a chance to explain his or her behavior. Once the employee has
had his or her say, management can decide whether the employee
is guilty of misconduct serious enough for termination. At the
same time, the manager should keep all information confidential.
No one but the manager, the manager's supervisor and the Human
Resources Department need to know the details. It is important
for the manager to remain professional. Besides having a chance
to explain of matter, the manager should allow the accused employee
to have a person to support him or her at the meetings. Someone
from Human Resources is usually a good choice.
Sometimes misconduct is very serious. In such cases, management
needs to conduct a preliminary investigation. Once the company
has completed the investigation, the manager should make the
employee aware of the findings. Once again, the manager can ask
for the employee's side of the story. Using this evidence, management,
with the help of a Human Resources representative, must decide
what to do. They must decide how they should discipline the employee
or whether they should fire the worker.
Steps involved in misconduct
There are three steps involved in a case of misconduct by an
employee. First, the employer should coach the employee when
the misconduct occurs. The manager should explain what the employee
did wrong and how to fix future behavior. The next step is a
formal warning. The manager will have to issue one of these to
the employee when he or she repeats the inappropriate behavior
thus ignoring the manager. Finally when this fails, the employer
can choose to terminate the employee.
Mr. Betts completed his guidebook, terminations became much
easier for us.