An employer will place itself at risk of a claim for moral damages for bad faith dismissal if has failed to ensure that a procedure is in place to properly dismiss its employees or it has lost control of the dismissal process. For example, it is not unusual for an employer to find itself potentially liable to a claim for moral damage claim as a result of the unauthorized actions on the dismissed employee’s manager. Dismissals are often the result of incompatibility between a manager and his or her subordinate. An employee who is dismissed because of a personality conflict with his or her manager will not be entitled to damages for bad faith dismissal if the dismissal has been conducted in a professional manner. However, it is in these type of situations where the manager will often be unable to resist the temptation to kick the employee when he or she is down. The manager may attempt to humiliate the employee; fabricate allegations to support the decision to terminate the employee or take other steps that will make it more difficult for the employee to find new employment thereby placing the employer at risk of being ordered to pay moral damages.
Human resource professionals should be alert to this possibility and, for this reason, take control of the dismissal process to ensure a proper dismissal.
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