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5 Types of Employees You May Want to Fire

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Troublesome employees can be a pain in an employer's side and a real impediment to business prospects, so firing them can be a real boon.

While you may hope to weed out potential troublemakers during the interview process, it may take some time for a worker to reveal his true colors. By then, giving him the pink slip may be the best solution.

Here are five kinds of employees that you may want to consider firing:

1. Troublemakers.

Loose cannons and renegades are great for cop movies, but not so much for employers. A management consultant writing for Inc. recommends that when employees "create more problems than they're worth," it may be time to give them the ol' heave-ho.

Insubordinate behavior can take many forms, however, so you may want to think twice before firing someone for being a Good Samaritan.

2. Incompetent or Unwilling.

You can diligently try to spot trouble cases by looking for red flags in an applicant's resume, but every now and then you'll have an employee that just can't or won't do the job for which he or she has been hired.

If you've given that employee the proper tools and training, don't keep giving him or her a pass. Eventually, something has to give.

3. Liars and Frauds.

Especially if the job position that an employee fills is one that required certain education levels or certifications, lying or padding qualifications is a great reason to fire an employee.

For example, if the employee told you that he or she was proficient in Microsoft Excel, yet is unable to cobble together a decent spreadsheet, it may be time to re-evaluate.

4. Absentees and Flakes.

Although employees may be entitled to vacation and sick time depending on your time-off policies, frequent absenteeism is certainly grounds for canning an employee who's never there.

Assuming the lack of focus or presence isn't because of FMLA leave or similar state medical leave, consider cutting those invisible employees loose.

5. Entitled or Litigious.

You should by all means give your employees the benefits and protections of federal and state laws, and you should not retaliate against an employee for exercising his or her legal rights.

However, if you suss out than an employee is more interested in gathering grounds for a lawsuit than doing his or her work, it may be time to pay a visit to HR.

If any of these firing scenarios give you heartburn, consider consulting an experienced employment attorney before you make any decisions.

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