Hello, my name is Robin and I own a medium sized business which is based in a suburb of Perth, Australia. Many business owners do not understand the importance of commercial law on their operations. I know that I certainly didn't when I set out. At first, this wasn't an issue but as my business grew, I realised that if I didn't teach myself about the legal rules in place and seek expert help, I would find myself in serious trouble. I got in touch with a great law firm who helped me to understand exactly what I needed to know. I decided to start this blog to help other business owners.
As a small business order, you probably value all your employees and don't want to make the harsh decision to let anyone go. But unfortunately, circumstances beyond your control can arise, resulting in you being forced to let an employee go. A disgruntled employee can potentially slap you with an unfair employment termination lawsuit. Follow these steps to protect yourself.
Resist The Temptation To Call Your Employee
When you run a small business, you may have developed a personal rapport with employees. This can prompt you to pick up the phone and try to resolve the issue with your ex-employee. At this stage, your best option is to resist the temptation to call your employee and cease all forms of contact until this issue is resolved. This is important because you can potentially raise your voice or get angry in your effort to resolve the issue with your employee, which can then be held against you in the court. At this stage, it's important to handle all communication between your commercial lawyer and your ex-employee's lawyer for the smoothest end to a tough situation.
Gather Internal Documents To Prove Your Case
If your ex employee has filed an unfair employment termination complaint against your company, you will need to do everything possible to prove your case and protect your reputation. Based on the specific details of the employee's lawsuit, you will need to gather documents like employment contracts, termination clauses within the contracts, issues undertaken to address the problem before termination and reasons for termination. It's always best to record all aspects of your employment rather than having verbal conversations because this will help you gather documents and evidence when you actually need it. Make sure that all documents are accessible to your lawyer without any difficulties.
Refer To Any Existing Policies That The Employee Violated
In many instances, employers are forced to fire an employee because he or she has violated some company policy. If you're in a similar situation, let your lawyer know about the company policy and the reasons that caused you to terminate employment. For example, if you follow a no-gifts policy for your employees, and your attention has been brought to an employee who regularly accepts gifts, this could be sufficient ground to terminate him or her. You may choose to warn the employee before taking drastic action if the employee fails to cooperate. Give all documents related to the policy to your lawyers, so that they can set up a suitable case for you.
Follow these steps if you're dealing with an employee who claims unfair employment termination.