The Basics of the Lawful Firing Process in California

Running any kind of business that includes more than one person holds the prospect of firing an employee. While this is something that does not occur on a regular basis for most organizations, experience shows that it will likely happen at one point or the other. In the state of California, the firing process is a delicate undertaking that any employer should take exceedingly seriously.

When this is taken lightly, a business and the employer might end up with a lot of problems. This is especially true when it comes to the legal perspective of the same process. To make all of this clearer, here are the basics of a lawful firing process in California.



Needed Documentation

The first step in firing an employee is to have all the needed documentation ready and available. This includes the employee employment applications, a handbook of unacceptable behavior made by the employee, their job description, appraisals of their performances, records of any disciplinary actions and finally, written documentation of any internal investigations of their behavior. All of these must be clearly written, free of any inflammatory statements and accurate.



Termination Notice

Ready and collected documentation should be followed by a termination notice. No legal firing ever takes place during a heated or emotionally charged moment. This means that anyone who has been fired on the spot could have legal avenues to oppose this decision of the employer. Naturally, this should be avoided in all circumstances.


Instead, the employee should get prior notice, along with the notice being reviewed by a third party, like a supervisor or a member of the HR department. Their role should be to make sure no mistakes were made in the steps leading to that moment, either in terms of documentation or the procedures undertaken by the employer.



Termination Meeting

 Once the termination notice has been handed to the employee, a termination meeting should take place. This meeting should be planned carefully to avoid any legal liability but also to reduce any emotional distress to the employee. They should be held face-to-face and not using remote communication.


Also, the employer should always have a witness present and it should take place in a private but neutral space, like a company’s conference room. The meeting should include the actual key moment of the firing process where the employee their contract has been terminated. Here, the elements of the post-firing process are discussed, but the HR and accounting handle them after the firing has been completed, including payments or any other unfinished business between the two parties.


With this information, anyone will be able to attain all the necessary details about the lawful firing process in California.