Spot the Red Flags: 4 Signs That Indicate You May be Getting Terminated

As an employee in Michigan, it is important to understand that you are working in an “at-will” state, which simply means that unless you have an employment agreement that states otherwise, your employer can technically fire you at any time, for any reason (as long as it is not discriminatory) or no reason at all.

Even though employers are legally able to terminate their employees, they aren’t likely going to want to do so without planning ahead because it will make it more difficult for them to meet the needs of their customers, and it could leave them open to a lawsuit. Of course, an employer isn’t going to come right out and say that they are planning on terminating your employment on a set date, so you need to know what signs to watch for, which may indicate your job is at risk.

Employer Begins Distributing Your Workload

If an employer is going to fire you, they will want to take steps to ensure business can move forward after you leave. Litigating a dispute can result in your employer terminating your position, and even when that is not the case, it can require that employees spend a significant amount of time away from their normal job.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews typically occur annually, possibly semi-annually, and can give good insights into your employer’s intentions. If you notice that your review is focusing on negative things where in the past there were never issues, it could be an indication that they are trying to build a case for your termination. This is especially true in larger companies where HR requires significant documentation for termination.

Employer Tries to Get Agreements Signed

Employers may try to get employees to sign documents to limit their exposure in court if they are preparing to fire you. They may ask the employee(s) to sign some type of confidentiality agreement to help minimize any risk of bad press or other issues related to the conflict. While signing paperwork like this can be necessary, it is normally a good idea to have an attorney review it before signing.

Lots of Re-Training is Provided

While getting training at work is definitely a good thing, it can also be a sign of trouble. A good employer won’t jump right to firing employees who aren’t performing as well as expected. Instead, they will offer them training and guidance to help improve their performance. If this effort is unsuccessful, however, firing the employee may be the next step. If you are offered re-training at your job, make sure you take it seriously and do everything you can to perform to the best of your ability.

Employers…Be Careful

For those reading this who may be business owners, HR personnel, or managers who are responsible for the firing of employers, you need to take this task very carefully. While Michigan is an at-will state, employees can still sue for wrongful termination. It is best to do everything you can to provide the training and tools an employee needs to succeed rather than to start looking for reasons to terminate right away. If termination does become necessary, it is essential to handle it correctly. In addition, preparing for any potential legal action taken by the employee is important.

Whether you are an employee or an employer, an involuntary termination of employment can be difficult. Emotions can run high on both sides of the desk, and that can lead to people being treated unjustly. We represent both employees who were unfairly terminated as well as employers who are being sued despite taking the proper steps in the termination process. Contact us to go over your situation, and learn what we can do to help.

Written by Carla D. Aikens

Carla D. Aikens

After years of working for large law firms on major corporate cases, Carla D. Aikens chose to go out on her own and found her own firm because she is passionate about helping people of whom others have taken advantage.