Forman, a partner at the Los Angeles office of Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger, offered his tips at BLR’s Advanced Employment Issues Symposium held recently in Las Vegas.
When managers want to terminate, it’s helpful to have a system in place with checklists that will slow things down, says Forman. Consider:
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First, says Forman, interview the complaining employee.
Then, interview the alleged perpetrator. Again, get all details, such as dates, notes, writings, emails, witnesses, etc.
Then write up the case and discuss it with your attorney. After the discussion, interview third parties—witnesses, clients, vendors.
Also take other reasonable steps, for example:
Analyze the information you have gathered. Make credibility assessments. What are the motives of the complaining employee and the accused employee?
Write a post-investigation memorandum. Be sure to document hours spent, the number of witnesses, all in a generic manner, so that if you are ever accused of not investigating or doing a poor investigation, the documents will refute those allegations.
The best tool for employers who want to avoid termination problems is doing HR basics right. For example:
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