California Employers should have procedures in place when terminating employees for lack of performance.

In our litigious society employers need to make sure that they have not rushed into judgment when terminating employees for lack of performance. Should you wind up in court because of the termination, it will be up to you to prove that you have not terminated the employee wrongly.

Telling an employee once or twice that they are not performing up to your requirements is not enough today. You need to take the time to coach your employee. Once you have coached the employee and yet the performance does not improve don’t just fire them, or you may be sorry.

Now is the time to make sure that everything up to this point has been documented. As you go forward, you need to monitor the employee and provide them with written warnings after you have coached them and yet they continue in their non-performance.

Here are some things to think about:

• If it is not written down, it did not happen
• While CES Today does not recommend progressive discipline, we do encourage you to use all the disciplinary tools at your disposal. The difference between using all your disciplinary tools and progressive discipline program is that we do not encourage a steps program. If you establish a progressive discipline program and fail to follow the steps that you have said your company will follow this could be grounds for an employee lawsuit by itself.
• Verbal Warnings, Written Warnings, Suspension From Work, are all tools that can be used. By treating each act of discipline as an event versus a steps, program does not bind you as the employer to complete any or all of the steps.
• Make sure that you document the following: Work Performance, Bad Behaviors, Conversations that you have had with the employee concerning their lack of performance.

Make sure that all of your employees are treated fairly and equally. Failing to do this could help you to lose your case. When you meet with your employee, make sure that you document the meeting and if the employee refuses to sign the document, make sure that another employee has been with you during the meeting and have the witness employee sign the document.

Once you have passed the initial stages of employee discipline make sure that there is a memo on the bottom of the disciplinary document that states “that immediate and sustained improvement is required and expected.
Before you end up terminating employees for lack of performance make sure that your paperwork/trail is in order. Should you have to go to court, your documentation along with your employee handbook will either get you a victory or cause you to fall in defeat.

The California Labor Laws, have never been more complex.

It is the sad state of affairs that every employer in California must have both a Cal-OSHA Consulting Team and a Human Resource Consultant to.
Additional Labor Law Tips

• Have your employee handbook reviewed yearly by either a consultant or an attorney.
• Make sure that your discipline policies are working for you and that you are following them. This should also be done yearly.
• If you have implemented any new policies, make sure that your employees have gotten a copy of the new policies and signed for them.
California Employer’s Services has been helping employers since 1997 should you have any questions we are here for you.

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We will quickly assess your employee handbook and your safety program.  We will help you to see how you are doing with your compliance issues.  Everything we cover will be backed up by documentation.