3 Situations When It's Best To Seek An Employment Lawyer's Advice Before Firing An Employee

Posted on: 10 December 2019

Having to terminate employees is just part of operating a business, and you do have the right to do so when certain situations come up. However, you really do have to be careful about who you let go and when. It is possible to get slapped with a wrongful termination lawsuit in some situations. In these cases, it is best to speak with an employer attorney for help. Here is a look at some situations when you should seek legal advice before you let someone go.

You plan to fire an employee who is more susceptible to discrimination. 

Certain employees are going to naturally be more likely to be a victim of some kind of employment discrimination. A few examples would include people who: 

  • are pregnant or just had a baby 
  • are of a minority race 
  • are older than most of your employees
  • are homosexual 
  • are practicing a unique religion

In any situation where you intend to fire someone who could potentially claim you are discriminating against them, it is best if you speak to an attorney for advice before you let them go.

You plan to fire an employee for something they will likely claim they didn't do. 

Perhaps you suspect an employee is stealing company funds but you can't prove it. Maybe you know an employee is acting in a harassing manner, but you know they will deny your accusations. If there is any chance you are firing someone who could argue they are not guilty or not at fault for what you are saying, it can be best to get legal advice. These situations can bring about a lawsuit quite quickly.

You plan to fire an employee who is almost ready to achieve a monetary milestone with the company. 

There are some situations when letting go of an employee can look highly suspicious. In some cases, so suspicious that the employee could take their case to an attorney to file a claim against you for wrongful termination. Any time when an employee is close to reaching a financial or monetary milestone, you should discuss terminating their position beforehand with an employer attorney. For example, if you need to let go of someone who is close to getting their annual raise, reaching a point where they become vested in the company, or is right at the threshold when they would qualify for larger bonuses, it is best to seek legal counsel.