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How to Legally Terminate an Employee 
by Robbi Erickson August 23, 2005


Documentation is your key to protecting yourself from wrongful-termination lawsuits. To make sure that you have all of the documentation that you need, keep your personnel files current and complete. Try to keep the following items on hand, either in every employee’s file or in a clearly labeled personnel file:

  1. Critical incident reports
  2. Employee evaluations (at least one a year. I would recommend evaluations every 6 months, especially for new employees for the first three years.)
  3. Job analysis of all jobs. (Conduct job analyses at least every two or three years.)
  4. Job descriptions for every job. (Update job descriptions at least every two or three years.)
  5. History of how infractions have been handled in the past.
  6. Supervisor’s employee log documenting good and bad incidents.
  7. Customer evaluations and feedback forms.
  8. Work samples.
  9. List of rules, signed by each employee.
  10. List of progressive disciplinary actions signed by each employee.
  11. Employment-at-will doctrine signed by each employee.

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