Employee Terminations - When to Seek Outside Advice

Sep 21, 2016

Employee Terminations - When to Seek Outside Advice

As the CEO of your business, no matter how conscientious you are as an employer, certain circumstances may arise that should trigger a conversation with a trusted advisor who is well versed in employment law.

If you are part of the progressive and growing group of companies that work with a Human Resources Management organization, or are partnered with a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), be sure to talk with your provider about access to legal support before terminating the employee in question.

When you need to make a decision pertaining to employee misconduct, performance problems, or other bad behaviors, a trusted advisor can help determine if the termination is legal and reduce the risk of a future law suit.

So, the question is:

When should a business owner or HR Manager seek outside advice when terminating an employee?

Below is a quick list of common scenarios that may make a termination complicated and potentially risky, from a legal standpoint.

  • If the employee has an employment contract or believes they have an implied employment contract.
  • If the employee has stock options, retirement accounts or other benefits that will mature or be vested close to the time of the termination.
  • If an employee made you aware of unethical behaviors in the workplace.
  • If you are concerned about violence, vandalism, corporate sabotage or a compromise of company security or data.
  • If the employee consistently denies the behavior they are accused of, even after an investigation.
  • If the current or former employee filed a complaint with the EEOC or other government agency.
  • If the employee in question has access to high level information, trade secrets or proprietary company information.
  • If the employee is in a protected class, i.e.: over 40; pregnant; practices a particular religion; or has a disability.
  • If the employee has made complaints about another employee’s treatment vs. how they are being treated.


This list is certainly not all inclusive. Our best recommendation is to make sure you have the necessary resources before you need them, which is why many companies choose a business model that includes using a PEO.

Contact us today to learn more about DHR and how a PEO can help your business.

Todd Miller

Written by Todd Miller

Director of Marketing, DHR

Todd leads DHR’s marketing department and is responsible for overall marketing strategy and execution. With nearly 15 years in the sourcing services and solutions space, Todd provides interesting insight on a variety of topics in this fast-paced and ever-changing industry.

Todd lives in Scottsdale with his two daughters and Collie/Shepard. One is a good boy.

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