As a franchise owner, you make the decision to let an employee go so that you can hire someone to replace them. When you let them know that this is their last day, they become angry and ask why. You feel that the situation is escalating uncomfortably, so you decline to tell them anything and simply request that they leave.
In response, the employee claims they’re going to sue. The whole thing feels unfair to them, and they believe that it violates their rights to be fired without being told why.
Do they have a point?
You have done nothing wrong
Generally speaking, no, you don’t have to tell them why. You don’t have to give them a written notice with a reason. You don’t have to explain your decision to their satisfaction. This isn’t a debate. You’re simply informing the now-former employee that you want to end the working relationship, whether they like that or not. Under at-will employment laws, you’re entirely within your rights to do so.
Understandably, the employee may feel that your decision is unfair. They may think there’s no reason to fire them. But you don’t need a reason that they believe is valid. You can simply fire them because you want to hire someone else — as long as you aren’t violating their rights by doing so. For instance, you can’t fire a worker based on their age, sex, gender, or ethnicity, just to name a few. As long as your reason is valid, though, they have no right to a discussion over your reasoning.
What if they sue you?
If they still try to take action against your company, you must know what steps you can take to protect your franchise brand and your future.