incrediBILL - 7:01 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
California’s Labor Code specifies that an employment relationship with no specified duration is presumed to be employment “at-will.” This means, at least in theory, that the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause. There are exceptions to the at-will rule created by statute, the courts or public policy.
I think duration of employment and the nature of the mistakes being made should dictate how you handle the situation. I've done the written warnings for some people while others have been shown the door on a moments notice but they were very new, not a long time employee, or had some something VERY BAD.
Guess I'm more interested in what types of mistakes the person is making because sometimes it's the procedures and practices that need to be addressed to eliminate mistakes, not firing the employee. If there's any way you can put checks and balances in place that the employee can use to self-correct then it's a win-win, for this and future employees in that position.
However, if someone hired for a job such as a cashier makes constant mistakes counting money I'd either offer them a different position if available or bounce their ass out the door if they simply couldn't do the job.
Just do it as friendly as possible and certainly don't make the warning or firing come out of nowhere. Hopefully you've pointed out the problems already and this isn't something new that will blindside the person, like they may already expect it. When I've had similar situations I sat them down and discussed it, we made an action plan on how to correct it which was written and signed by both parties, with a future review date. That's a complete CYA and an actionable plan for the employee on how to succeed and sometimes that's all it takes to make a complete turnaround.
BTW, I you do fire the guy, disable all access and change all passwords immediately BEFORE announcing the good news to avoid any sabotage. One guy we fired wasn't shown the door immediately (big mistake) and managed to install remote access on his PC and remotely tunneled into one of our servers from home after being terminated so change ALL passwords. I would just give them 2 weeks severance and not let them work another two weeks after that incident.
Also, not to scare you, but someone my wife fired started stalking her, sending emails, postcards, showing up in the parking lot (and they lived a bit of a distance) and doing all sorts of crazy stuff that escalated to the point a lawyer got involved but I think short of filing a police report.