Terminating an employee is challenging and can give rise to a number of legal issues. Terminating a remote employee can present different issues and can be even more difficult. Remember that the same employment rules apply whether the worker is in the office or at home.
With all your employees, you need to set expectations and manage their performance first. You need to communicate with the employees when their performance is lacking. Nothing should be a surprise—if you’re going to fire them, they should know about it.
Terminating an Employee
If you decide to terminate an employee, the number one thing that you need to do is make sure that you treat them with respect throughout the process. It’s difficult for them, and you and the best thing you can do is be polite.
You should have a plan ahead of time, and if you have an HR team, you should coordinate the termination with them. You should have a script of what will happen and stick to the facts.
If possible, you should try to terminate them in person. If you can’t do that, a video call is probably best. If you can’t do that, a phone call. An email is really the last resort. No matter what, you shouldn’t be alone in the conversation. Have somebody there with you who can document what happened, support you, and look out for the employee’s interests.
One of the things you really need to do is make sure that your IT team knows what’s going on. Because they’re remote, the employee can access several company systems and confidential company information. Because of this, concurrent with the termination, the IT team should cut their access off to anything sensitive.
If you follow these steps, it won’t make firing a remote worker less painful, but if you strive to fire them in the right way, it will at least ensure that the process will be handled fairly, adhere to company policy, and more importantly, it’ll fit within legal guidelines.
How RRS Can Help Navigate Your Remote Employee Termination
Richards Rodriguez & Skeith’s employment lawyers recognize the complexity of employment relationships and offer practical advice to achieve our clients’ objectives while reducing the risk of employment litigation. Ensure when you work with us that we will be intricate care of the well-being of both your business and employee.
Contact us today for a consultation.