Even with “employment-at-will” protections, problems can arise when terminating employees.
Employers that take the “employment-at-will” concept too literally can be looking at potential legal difficulties. If a complaint is brought to court then a human factor from judges and juries come into play. The human factor can eliminate the “black and whiteness” of the employment-at-will concept and put you in danger of losing a large lawsuit.
Employment Law Attorney Jonathan Segal suggests employers follow these guidelines to protect themselves from the human factor of employee terminations:
Use progressive discipline
Use the same person who hired to fire
Drop problem workers in the first 90 days
When you document, cite specifics
Avoid absolutes, but have absolute reasons for termination
Do not list all of the little things
Do not describe a problem worker in medical terms