Last Updated: March 12, 2024 • Visit Blog Homepage

Hiring employees is stressful, but it's also an exciting time for your business. You're growing and business is booming. However, it's the other side of the hiring spectrum that we're going to be dealing with today: firing. Firing employees is never an easy decision, but it's sometimes necessary for the success and well-being of your dog daycare business. In order to to help you make this painful and difficult process as easy as possible, here's a list of some of the main steps to firing an employee. As a reminder, always consult with an employment attorney before firing any employee, so that you can be 100% sure that you're doing it legally.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before you make any decisions, it's important to assess the situation and determine whether termination is truly necessary. Consider whether the employee's performance issues can be resolved through coaching or training, and if the problems are affecting the overall performance of the daycare. Like any relationship, sometimes it only takes communication to make the situation better. Perhaps your employee doesn't understand that they're upsetting you and they would be willing to improve in order to stay employed. However, if the issues cannot be resolved, then it's time to consider termination.

Step 2: Gather Documentation

Documentation is key when it comes to terminating an employee. Keep detailed records of any incidents, performance issues, and attempts at coaching or training. This documentation will serve as evidence in case of a legal challenge and will also help to ensure a fair and consistent process. While some states have at-will employment laws, others have stricter worker protection. Having a paper trail of the entire process if going to be very helpful during the process. You can show them each date that they made a mistake and also the various attempts that you made to alleviate the situation before deciding to continue with the firing process.

Step 3: Plan the Termination Meeting

Once you've determined that termination is necessary, it's important to plan the termination meeting carefully. This meeting should take place in private and at a time when the employee is not likely to cause a disturbance. Choose a neutral location, such as an empty conference room, and plan to have a witness present, if possible. Having a witness is a good idea so that if the employee tries to file a lawsuit, you will have someone that can attest to exactly how the situation went down. You will also want to make sure that any logins and passwords have been obtained and changed so that they cannot log into the company computer and do any damage once they've been let go.

Step 4: Deliver the News

During the termination meeting, be direct and clear about the reasons for termination. Explain the performance issues and the attempts at resolving them. Be respectful and professional, and avoid getting into a heated argument. Offer support for the transition, such as providing a reference or assisting with unemployment benefits. It's never easy to get fired, so try to show your employee some empathy. If the firing isn't a result of anything personal and solely a financial issue, you can point out that business is down and that you're unable to continue paying them.

Step 5: Follow Up

After the termination meeting, follow up with the remaining employees to ensure that they understand the situation and to address any questions or concerns. Consider conducting a debrief with your management team to identify any areas for improvement in your process. Additionally, be sure to promptly update your records and remove the terminated employee from any access to sensitive information. As we talked about previously, if the termination wasn't done due for any reasons besides financial reasons, make it a point to keep in contact with the employee to see how they're doing. Offer to provide a letter of recommendation for them to give to future employers. If the termination was a result of a "bad" situation, it might be best to terminate all contact with the employee. As always, talk with your attorney to get their advice on the situation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not legal advice. Always contact your business attorney before making any hiring and firing decisions.

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