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Valid grounds for an employee’s dismissal

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2023 | Business Law, Employment Law |

With the great resignation of 2022, companies struggled to retain employees in this economic climate. Still, there are valid reasons why companies choose to dismiss employees.

Some illegal grounds for dismissal include race, age, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and other constitutionally protected rights. Conversely, the worker is entitled to quit for any reason or no reason unless there is an enforceable employment contract in place. The worker may also believe that the company wrongfully dismissed or mistreated them, leading them to file a lawsuit against their former employer.

Three reasons that often hold up in court

Employers need to keep detailed employee performance records. It is also useful for both the employer and employee to review performance records and an organizational handbook from time to time. Documenting and sharing this information can make a strong argument of “firing for a cause.” Three common reasons are:

Gross misconduct: This reason comes in many forms but generally involves violent or abusive behavior towards co-workers, managers or even customers. It can also happen if the worker does not follow protocols and endangers the lives and well-being of colleagues.

Substance abuse: While the cause is drugs or alcohol, employers can cite the use, misuse or abuse of substances on the job or to the point where it affects job performance and endangers others.

Poor performance: Employer documents can cite expectations and performance, showing that the employee did not meet reasonable expectations over time despite proper training, mentoring and other strategies for improving the employee’s performance.

Legal guidance will be crucial

Businesses, companies or organizations may face wrongful termination lawsuits or other claims, so it is essential to set up proper protocols and documentation. The company then can follow through by taking any ex-employees claim seriously. 

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