Human Resources:

"Legal" Causes for Laying Off an Employee

It’s hard enough thinking about letting an employee go but to fire someone requires strong reasons. On top of that they have to be legally binding reasons. You can’t fire people based on the way they look, smell, act, and behave as long as they are staying within company policy and doing their job competently. Reasons that concern someone’s race, sex, and physical attributes are seen as ground for wrongful termination lawsuits against the company.

The following are not necessarily all the "legal" reasons for firing employees but are all the major ones:

  • Unable to reach their goals time and time again. They are unable to understand and perform their duties to the standards that you have set. For you to use this reason to fire someone, your company must have policies and standards set and written on paper that the employee agrees to perform by signing them at the time of the hiring.
  • Anytime an employee violates any major company policy like disclosing secret company documents to another competitor or sexually harassing another employee.
  • Employees who like to take extended weekends like not showing up on Monday or who show up around 11-am everyday and consistently. Your company must make the time that the employee is expected to show up for work everyday clear at the time of hiring.
  • If an employee physically threatens another.
  • If an employee abuses drugs and alcohol while in the workplace or shows up drunk or high or if he engages in selling the drugs and alcohol to others.
  • If an employee commits a crime punishable by law in the company like hurting someone or stealing money from fellow workers or stealing products from the company. You must have proof and evidence before you fire an employee.
  • If someone made up education claims or lied about their skills on the resume or lied to the interviewer. In cases like these, your company will find out soon enough.