As an employer, the best way to protect your business is paper, paper, paper! While written employment contracts may not be as prevalent in your industry, putting the employment relationships on paper helps determine the employee’s responsibilities to the business, and most importantly what the may be entitled to if their employment is terminated. These termination clauses need to be finely-worded in order to be effective, so consulting with an employment lawyer can help keep your contracts in line with the most up-to-date changes in the law.
The other important papers are workplace policies and procedures. For employers, having these policies in writing are crucial, as they can be drafted in a way that they become part of the employment contract. Violations of these policies can set out grounds for employee discipline procedures, up to and including potentially dismissal for just cause.
Lastly, if an employer is disciplining an employee, it is imperative to keep a thorough paper record of all incidents, meetings, outcomes, and any further actions. For a ‘just cause’ termination to survive legal proceedings, the employer must present thorough and complete records of any incidents and their aftermath.