Firing an employee might be hard for many employers as it might result in claims for unlawful termination if not well executed. It is important that the employer knows the rights which the employee, who is about to be, fired has. The employee equally needs to know of their rights during and after being terminated from work. In California, there are various regulations that guide how the firing of an employee should be done.
There are frequently asked questions revolving firing of an employee which this article seeks to address.
Can I fire my employee for no reason?
The California federal law requires that an employer gives the employee reasons as to why they want to terminate them. Despite having the “at-will” general rule which gives the employer rights to hire and fire for almost whichever reason they have, the federal antidiscriminatory law prohibits an employer from firing an employee due to their race, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin among others.
Within what time should I give the employee his last paycheck?
In California, the law provides that the employer is to pay the fired employee all sums owed immediately upon termination of the employment. The amount must include accrued vacation time. If the employer delays in making the payment he will face a penalty.
Am I liable to pay a severance package?
The answer to this question is no. However, if the employer had promised the employee a severance package or had made it an office custom to pay a severance package to an employee who is being terminated then they are liable to pay that amount. If an employer voluntarily considers making a severance pay they can make the employee waive any rights to bring a lawsuit against them on matters relating to the termination.
Can I give reference to a new employer?
Yes. An employer can if they wished to. If he has a great reference to make then that will be for the benefit of the employee. However, an employer is not supposed to talk ill of the former employee out of holding a grudge against them. If he has a negative reference to make they must be based on actual events to avoid being sued for defamation.
Should I seek legal advice before firing an employee?
It is not a requirement under California law. Nonetheless, it is advisable for an employer to get legal advice from an expert before terminating an employee. This is to ensure that he does it in a rightful way thereby avoiding any possible lawsuit.
In conclusion, it is evident that both the employer and employee need to know the laws relating to firing an employee in the state of California. This is important so as to avoid lawsuits that might arise after an employer fires the employee which might lead to financial loss.