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Question:
We are going to terminate an employee who has not been meeting expectations, even after several warnings. Could we give the employee notice that their employment will end in two weeks? That way they have a little time to search for a new job.

Answer:
We would not recommend giving notice ahead of an involuntary termination in the case of either underperformance or misconduct. Such notice is usually reserved for a layoff. More importantly, it could expose your church to additional risk:

  • The to-be-terminated employee may misuse church property, steal proprietary information, or harm the church in other ways.
  • This notice would set a precedent that other employees might expect for themselves, and if they don’t receive the same notice, they may claim that you’re discriminating against them.
  • The work the employee does during this time may be subpar or disruptive. On the other hand, their performance may improve, in which case you may be tempted to renege on the termination. This would muddy expectations with regard to the original termination notice.

Given these risks, we recommend that terminations take effect immediately after or the same day the employee receives the notice.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com

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