An employer should always carefully document the reasons for firing an employee. But your termination documentation doesn’t have to be complicated.
I’ve attached a one-page form that you as an employer can quickly fill out and place in the employee’s file whenever you have to terminate the employment of one of your workers. But just because the form is simple doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put some thought into the process.
Even though Texas is an “at will” employment state, it is wise to have good reasons for firing an employee. You need to stick to those reasons exactly when you complete the unemployment form from the Texas Workforce Commission, if you get a discrimination complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and if you hear from the Department of Labor on a retaliation case.
Nothing looks more suspicious to a government investigator or to a jury than an employer’s termination story that changes over time. The all-important consistency of your answers begins with this document filled out on the day that the employee is terminated.
Clients are always asking me what they can do to prevent getting sued by an employee who was fired. Having good, nondiscriminatory reasons for the termination and documenting those reasons carefully are the first steps in preventing a lawsuit, or at least winning one.
Click here to download this simple firing form: