Top Reasons to Terminate an Employee

Posted on the 22 February 2023 by Baluamrita
Top reasons to terminate an employee
Firing an employee is an extremely tough, but inevitable decision in many situations. You may have hired someone who did well in their interview and had appropriate qualifications, but as they start working for your company, you might notice that their habits or behavior affects your office environment, productivity, or even the rest of your team in a negative manner. Letting the employee go would be the smartest and the most reasonable choice during such circumstances.
While the specifics related to providing a termination letter to employee may differ, usually, the reason for termination comes under certain broad categories. Knowing when you should consider firing an employee is important for all employers.
If you are on the fence about whether to fire an employee or not, check on the following prominent reasons for termination:

Excessive absenteeism

Taking a few sick days or going for a vacation once in a while is fine, but if an employee takes more off than the company allows them to or is regularly late to work and does not complete their assignments in time, then it can become a problem. Employees having attendance issues end up putting more strain on their coworkers, ultimately resulting in low morale and productivity in their departments. 
That being said, if an employee has genuine health concerns, then a different approach might have to be taken, depending on your company policy and local regulation. However, in case there are no legitimate or official reasons for the excessive absences, and their behavior persists, you should consider terminating the employee.

Breaking client confidentiality

Depending on the severity of the case, a breach of client confidentiality can result in disciplinary or even termination of the employee in question. To reach this decision, you have to properly assess whether the employee understands the seriousness of the violation, along with the consequences of breaking data protection and confidentiality policies. It is better to start off the investigation and interview other employees as soon as possible in such situations, and gather additional information and witness statements. You can provide termination letter to employee as long as you have enough evidence against them.

Release of confidential information

It will be prudent to make your employees sign an employment contract where they agree to protect the confidential information of the company. Sharing information related to finances, strategies, clients and projects outside the company can be considered a breach of confidentiality. In the business landscape, using company contacts for personal gain is also known to be a confidentiality breach. To protect the reputation of your business, firing the concerned employee would be the ideal course of action if they breach the confidentiality agreement.


Theft is obviously illegal. Stealing from the coworkers or the company can not just lead to the termination of the employee, but may also result in legal action. Stealing includes robbery of any kind, right from petty theft, like taking office supplies home without permission, to stealing cash or expensive equipment from the workplace.

Violence and harassment

Both verbal and physical violence are good enough reasons to fire an employee. Workplace harassment can be motivated by gender, religion, nationality and so on. If the actions or works of one employee impact the mental and/or physical well being of the others and put their safety at risk, you need to be ready to take action at once and terminate the employee. It is the responsibility of every employer to create a safe workspace for their employees.


Usually, the instances of insubordination have comparatively minor consequences. However, in case employees ignore safety protocols and workplace health, their disobedience may warrant serious consequences. If their behavior does not change after multiple warnings, you might have to fire the employee.

Substance abuse

Using illegal drugs or alcohol on the job implies to substance abuse. If an employee shows up to work intoxicated, it can lead to immediate termination.

Destruction of company property

Damaging or destroying company property is an example of serious misbehavior and can lead to disciplinary action like a dismissal. You must make sure that your employees understand that they are expected to look after company equipment and use them only for their intended purpose.

Poor job performance

Inadequate or poor job performance is among the most common reasons for employee termination. It essentially is also a catch-all term for a number of issues, like employees not meeting the required quotas, needing constant supervision or not being able to properly perform the job even after the standard training period: Poor employee performance is the most self explanatory reason to provide termination letter to employee.
Among the reasons mentioned above, the overall severity of the action of the employees and their impact, would be instrumental in determining whether terminating them is justified or not. An employee might also be dismissed regardless of their good performance and behavior in case your company is making budget cuts or downsizing.

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