Small Business Guides

Home > Blog

What Happens When a Former Employee Won’t Go Away?

In running your small business, have you ever had to let an employee go for one reason or another? If the answer is yes, you know how difficult it can be at times.

That said some employees will not always go quiet into the night. As a result, you may have to take legal action to get them to stay clear of your business. If that happens, it can prove costly in money and time.

With that in mind, what can you do to best assure that a former employee will remain that?

Signs You Could Be in for a Fight

If you have a former employee who doesn’t get the hint to move on, what steps can you take?

Among some of those to ponder:

  1. Legal action

Although you hope taking legal action will be a last resort, it does happen. As such, make sure you prepare to deal with the various consequences.

Getting law enforcement and lawyers involved could bring negative publicity to your brand. Although you may view this action as being necessary, think about it long and hard.

When a former employee makes it difficult on you to leave, he or she has options themselves.

One of them is to go public with the dismissal.

If they feel they got a raw deal, the may think that using social media etc. is one way to get back at you. If something's stated in a libelous manner, you may consider your legal department handles the issue.

  1. Harassing calls or other correspondence

What do you do if a former worker is contacting your place of work?

In some cases, you may not be able to pin them down right away. Do you know for sure if the calls or anonymous letters or social media posts are from them?

One way to try and identify the caller is by making a free reverse phone search. Doing this allows you to see where the calls are coming from. As such, you are able to know for sure if your former worker is in fact the one making life difficult for you.

Social media is another area where employers must guard against damage.

With millions on social networking sites at any given time, the potential for damage is great.

If you believe someone you laid off or fired is using social media to get back at you, consider legal action.

You will need evidence that it is the former employee to have any chance of winning a defamation suit. At best, you can send out a letter to the individual, telling them you suspect it is them behind the posts. Whether that deters them moving forward is oftentimes up in the air.

  1. Keeping your current employees safe and motivated

Fallout from having a disgruntled former employee is the impact on your current team.

It is imperative that you do your best to keep your current team’s focus on their jobs at hand. In doing so, you have less of a risk of the former employee’s actions becoming a major distraction in the office.

In the event the individual shows up at your workplace, make it known that they are not to do this again. Some of your current staff may become uneasy if this individual comes to the office.

Dealing with a disgruntled former worker can be a difficult challenge.

That said handle it in as professional a manner as possible.