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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.

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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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