Dismissing an employee is always a difficult task, and it can negatively affect both the employee and the employer—especially if it is mishandled. Most employers will try to avoid dismissal and will employ progressive discipline (warnings and other disciplinary acts) in an attempt to improve the situation.
In the United States, the doctrine of employment-at-will allows employers to fire employees without giving a reason (as long as the reason isn't illegal, such as discrimination based on age, gender, or race). Most companies dismiss a worker for a specific reason. Thus, most firings are considered termination for cause, meaning the company can point to the behavior or performance of the employee as the cause. This provides the organization with some protection against wrongful termination suits.
Check out our latest infographic to learn more about the common reasons for terminating an employee.