Why is it so hard to fire problematic employees?

It’s easy and cheap if the employer has legitimate just cause, but there’s a potentially expensive catch
By Todd Humber
|CHRR, Report on Employment Law|Last Updated: 10/11/2005

Problematic employees are like a cancer in the workplace. Left unchecked, they can kill morale, destroy productivity and cause talented employees to look elsewhere for a more fulfilling work experience. These are devastating long-term ramifications in any organization.

So why are so many employers reluctant to part ways? Why is it so hard to fire problematic employees?

The simple answer is that it’s not hard. Despite all the legal mechanisms to protect employees, employers have the right to terminate an employment relationship at any time. If the employer wants to part ways, it can do so in a heartbeat. But there’s a catch, a potentially expensive one, and it comes in the form of reasonable notice.