General Question

mirza's avatar

How do I fire someone from a job ?

Asked by mirza (5042points) June 14th, 2008

My boss wants me to fire this other guy I work with. The problem is I actually like this guy as a friend. Personally I have never had problems with him and I think he’s pretty good at what he does. We hang out after work too. The problem is – we both do the same thing. So if I were to tell my job not to fire him or ask him to tell the other guy himself, theres a chance that I can lose my job.

So how do I tell my friend that he has to leave his job in the nicest possible way ?

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13 Answers

Adina1968's avatar

Why does it fall on your shoulders to fire him? It sounds like your boss is passing the buck.

gailcalled's avatar

Mirza; I am sorry to say that it is lose-lose. No matter how nice you are, how prepared you are and how carefully you couch your part of the conversation, the end result is going to be that the guy loses his job. It also sounds as tho your boss is shunting his job onto you.

Aha, Adina and I are thinking exactly the same thing.

arnbev959's avatar

You could just tell your boss that no, you’re not going to fire him; he can do it himself, and hope that you still have a job.

Or you could fire the guy, and risk losing a friend. Maybe he’d understand, maybe not.

I’d go with the first choice as a matter of principal. The second as a matter of practicality.

jlm11f's avatar

tell the guy the truth. tell him that the boss came to you and told you to fire him. and you had no say in the matter, and the only reason you are going through with it is because you need to keep your job. OR tell your boss that you don’t want to do this since you are not that guy’s supervisor and so it would be unprofessional for you to do something of that sort. he won’t dare fire you over something like this, because if he does you can take him to court.

iJimmy's avatar

Sounds like you are not in a position to be over your friend. If this is the case… I don’t know your boss, but you have to think why is he having you do this. Is he scared, lazy, or does he think it’s some kind of test?

I have had to fire people I considered friends in the past. Some of them remained my friend after, others did not. If they are professional and can understand that business is business and its not personal you will be fine.

I once worked for a company that claimed they never “fired” anyone… people fired themselves. It sounds hokey, but there is some truth to it… if there is a valid reason for this person to be fired, they should half-way be expecting it.

As for what you tell him… the truth.

sndfreQ's avatar

Sounds very peculiar and disingenuous on your boss’ part. If he is your (you and your friend’s) supervisor, then technically he should be handing down a termination; if you have a Human Resources office, then your employer must also have some sort of protocol concerning hiring and firing of employees. I’m certain that in most cases, colleagues of the same ‘rank’ can’t fire other colleagues, as this may open the company up to litigation on a possible wrongful termination action. Your acting on this may also jeopardize your employment status if somehow the effects of the termination are concluded to affect your performance (directly or indirectly). Sounds shady to me…

I’m not sure your boss is aware of the policies of termination at the company, but unless he’s the owner of the company, I’d probably have a chat with him and discuss the possible liability you and he may present should you decide to follow his order. If he is the owner, then maybe you’re in line for a promotion?!?...

IAC, someone from your HR department should be contacted, in confidence (if there is an HR dept.). They (HR) have an ethical and legal protocol that is designed to ensure that your job is not jeopardized by your reporting of this situation. At best, you are protecting yourself from harassment from your boss if you are being forced to do something not in your job description, especially if he has implied that your non-compliance will have negative ramifications on your employment status. If that is the case, then he is very much in the wrong for so many reasons. There are state guidelines if you google EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities Commission), as they have information on regulatory guidelines and standards for employers (at least here in California).

Good luck.

iCeskate's avatar

tell your boss that’s his job

marinelife's avatar

All the rules in the world won’t help usually.

I agree with gailcalled. You have been put in an untenable situation in which the likely loser is you. Did the boss provide grounds for terminating the employee? (Not that they are needed since most employment is at will.)

I think if it was me and I was not this person’s direct supervisor, I would say that to the boss, and that since I was not I did not feel comfortable firing someone.

stephen's avatar

agree with @Adina1968,apparently ur boss is an asshole!

webmasterwilliam's avatar

How about this tactic? Just keep telling your boss that you’re waiting for the right moment, and then never get around to it. Then your boss would figure out you’re not the person for that task and have to take it upon himself, or continue paying the guys wages.

Sometimes no action is the best action. Anyways, good luck with whatever action you take, and follow up on this post with what you did and how it turns out.

gailcalled's avatar

@Web; Your tactic is called “passive aggression” and is a very BAD idea.

gailcalled's avatar

Passive-aggressive behavior refers to passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following authoritative instructions in interpersonal or occupational situations. It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

It is a defense mechanism, and (more often than not) only partly conscious. For example, people who are passive-aggressive might take so long to get ready for a party that they do not wish to attend that the party is nearly over by the time they arrive.

Wikipedia com

webmasterwilliam's avatar

@gailcalled; Great term.

One of the truly great books that I read was “The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey”. The basics of this book are about identifying what chores in your life are actually yours, and which ones you have taken on that really belong to others. It’s a very short but powerful book, and only takes a few hours to read.

After reading that one Saturday afternoon, I went back to my desk on the following Monday and realized that more than half of the work I had really belonged to my co-workers, and bosses. I returned most of it, saying things like “I’m sorry, but I just can’t seem to get the time that this requires, so I am returning it”, or similar statements. No on objected, since I was helping them do their job. After that, I quit accepting other people’s tasks and found I could focus and excel at my job, and I also found I had more time than ever before.

A second point is that I took some sales classes in college. One sales tactic they taught was to physically hand your target client something, which could be a brochure or similar item. While they have that in hand, they cannot walk away, close a door in your face, etc. Whenever a salesman comes to my door and starts out by trying to hand me something, I put my hands in my pocket and just avoid accepting it.

My point for mirza is identify what his job is. Do the job well. Don’t accept the job of his boss. If it’s dangerous to pointedly refuse to take the job, putting his hands in his pocket may be the next best alternative.

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