New week. Same trial.

But with the new week comes some more new guest bloggers.  Each continues to talk about various employment law and human resources issues.

Today’s guest blogger is no exception. Indeed, since coming onto the blog scene some months ago, John Phillips has been churning out post after post on topics as varied as where the presidential candidates stand on employment law issues to what we can learn from the New York Yankees.  His The Word on Employment Law , may not be as edgy as Stephen Colbert’s segment on "The Word", but the blog is a very useful addition to the world of employment law and I encourage you to check it out.

In his "spare" time, John works for Miller & Martin and his full bio (with a hefty 33 years worth of experience) is available here.  And since Connecticut falls right on the Mason-Dixon line between Red Sox Nation and Yankees Country, it’s nice to know John is squarely a Yankees fan

Today, John tackles the topic of what an employer should do when there is no documentation about a problem employee.

Have you ever been in this situation?

You’ve got to fire an employee. He simply can’t cut it. You’ve tried to work with him. You’ve given him coaching, counseling. You should’ve fired him some time ago. He’s not only doing a poor job. Now, he’s hurting morale.

You’ve simply got to fire him.

But you don’t have any supporting documentation. You meant to document his poor performance. You meant to document those counseling or discipline sessions. But you didn’t. You’ll just have to take your chances, because you can’t put the firing off any longer.

A thought. There may actually be some documentation. Depending on what the employee’s job is, there may be production reports that show the employee was routinely way below the production quota. There may be customer complaints. There may be emails from co-workers complaining of the employee’s performance. There may be reports created by the employee that show his horrible communication skills.

You get the idea.

There may be documentation–not yours–but still good documentation that supports a discharge.

When you think the documentation cupboard is bare and you’re in a pickle because you have to move forward with a termination, check another cupboard or two. You may find some documentation a lot better than anything you could have done yourself.