In this five-part series, the Jacksonville construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law are discussing the construction workplace and times that a worker’s actions may result in their immediate termination. Although most of our clients would prefer to focus on the important construction work that needs to be accomplished on a project, it’s important to be prepared for the worst of times. This includes terminating the employment of a worker who is in serious violation of the rules.
In the first section, we discussed several advantages and disadvantages of having a zero-tolerance policy in place. In this section, we will cover what needs to be accomplished to determine whether you should or should not terminate an employee from their position.
A wrongful termination can result in a charge filed against your business. This can be a time-consuming, stressful, and expensive process to resolve that may require litigation. The first step before you terminate an employee is to perform your due diligence and gather as much helpful information as you can related to the incident before you take action.
- Follow Protocol: As every workplace is different, every employee handbook may have different disciplinary procedures. It’s critical that employers closely follow the procedures outlined in their handbook before they decide a final disciplinary action.
- Documentation: Employers should develop a recordkeeping system that documents any important incidents along with the date they transpired on. Whether it’s writing emails or creating employee files, logging this information will not only refresh your memory of past incidents, but also act as key supporting evidence when you make your final decision.
For serious allegations that result in an investigation, the employee under investigation should be placed on administrative leave with pay until a final decision is determined. After speaking with employees and other parties related to the incident and conducting a full investigation, you can contact the employee by phone, email, or a letter (or all three) and notify them that a decision has been reached. If you have determined that the person should be terminated from their position and you fear they may become violent, it’s best to contact them over the phone and notify them of your final decision.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.