Firing Employees: The Last Resort!

Firing Employees: The Last Resort!

Posted on Friday June 11, 2010 at 09:05AM

Firing Employees: The Last Resort!

Fired.  Terminated.  Let go.  No matter how you say it, the concept of losing one’s job is incredibly frustrating, depressing, and life changing.  There could also be some legal complexity with the ending of employment, which is why a lot of employers think long and hard about going through the process.  But if an employee’s performance has been continuously unsatisfactory, despite numerous discussions, or even illegal, it may be time to let them go.

According to “The Human Resources Advisor” major reasons for termination include: unacceptable job performance, insubordination, excessive absence or tardiness, being impaired by drugs or alcohol while at work, selling drugs, harassing other employees or customers, theft, or any action that goes against the law or the organization’s policy.    The steps leading up to firing someone is to first inform them of the observed behaviors in question with stated consequences.  Then allow for corrective or progressive discipline, so that the employee is fully aware of the seriousness of the situation.  Progressive discipline is: a caution notice, verbal warning, written warning, suspension and finally termination.

When an employee is fired for breaking the law (just cause) the employer does not have to follow the above process.  The employee should be escorted off the premises as soon as possible, the incident documented and the police informed.  Police involvement, while seeming to be rubbing salt into open wounds, or kicking someone when they’re down, is actually for your own protection.  If you do not inform police and the fired employee files a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, you’re left without legal support if there is no police report.  In instances such as employees fighting physically, a period of suspension is acceptable, to allow for things to cool down and the situation properly assessed.

When someone is fired, the employer must provide either notice in advance, or written notice and termination pay (in Alberta this must occur within three days if notice of termination has been given and ten days if no notice has been given).  The amount of time and pay owed to an employee is based on how long they have worked for the organization.  There are some exceptions to this, such as just cause, employment of three months or less, and term employment.  Students and part time employees must receive notice just like full time employees.

Termination of employment is uncomfortable to all parties involved.  Dealing with it as sensitively as possible reveals a lot about who you are as a human being.  If you are firing someone, make sure you have done all that is possible before it gets to that stage, but when it is necessary, have the law and compassion on your side.

Helpful Resources:
"Employment Standards Code". Province of Alberta. June 8, 2010

Hancocks, Derwyn R. The Human Resources Advisor, Western Edition. Concord, ON: First Reference Inc.,


Reminders, etc.
Statement of Receipts and Disbursements is due this coming Tuesday, June 15th, to Municipal Affairs.  Please do not forget to send a copy to Northern Lights headquarters.

Here are some random ideas that I picked up at the CLA conference last week that I thought might fly in our libraries here:
1.    Services for seniors (also referred to as older adults):
      a.    Wii bowling
      b.    promoting OverDrive (especially recommending eReaders) to seniors to battle the “war on fine print”
      c.    slogan for getting seniors in for computer training: “If you can use a phone, you can use the computer.”
2.    Providing a text messaging reference service.
3.    Promote the databases/eResources by going to local schools a leading sessions either for classes or for teacher in-service

Author: Northern Lights Library System


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Thank You

We have had to unfortunately get rid of a few people, this guide was very helpful consulting us in all the processes of doings so. Thank you very much!

Posted on Tuesday October 05, 2010 at 08:38AM by Mendel Potok


It's always disheartening to hear that a company has to cut it's staff in order to survive. And in the end it doesn't always solve the problem.

Posted on Friday November 19, 2010 at 03:57PM by Jun

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