When to Fire Employees on the Spot


We have all been told to document performance issues with a verbal warning, written warning and then a final written warning.

There are cases when an employee should be fired on the spot.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • Fighting, assault, threatening or stalking others

  • Theft from anyone regardless of the amount involved

  • Refusing a direct work order – insubordination

  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Willful destruction of company property

  • Falsification of records

  • Dishonesty

  • Egregious misconduct at work e.g. drawing racist graffiti, or visiting pornographic websites at work

Why? Aside from just being outraged, there may be liability risks. Make sure if you have a policy for progressive discipline in your manual, it states it is just for guidance and the employer retains the right to skip straight to termination at any time to help protect yourself from unfair treatment or discrimination charges.