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Fire Thee Well

When it comes time to fire an employee, there are plenty of resources out there to help you do it right.

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Firing an employee is a drag--every boss hates doing it--but the tough pill to swallow is that the day will come when you'll have to play Terminator. Why? Sometimes a new company direction means it's time to part with some current staff. Other times an employee just gets into a slump and needs a new direction. But the terrible news is that all this is more unpleasant-even painful-in a start-up because chances are, you'll be firing a friend.

Ouch! For starters, though, know this: Oftentimes, the best thing an employer can do is release an employee from a situation that's not working for either of them, and that will be even more true when the firing is done in a way that lets the employee save face. But fire an employee badly, and you'll be leaving yourself open to a possible lawsuit for wrongful termination or defamation. Do it really badly, and he could go postal on the 5 o'clock news. The good news is, there are plentiful resources out there to help you do the deed right.

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