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Readers Respond: What Is the Best Day to Fire an Employee and Why?

Responses: 68

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Some of the details employers consider when firing an employee have changed in recent years due to the proliferation of online resources for job search. Employers believed that it was unkind to fire an employee on Friday, for one, because the former employee would be stuck all weekend with little to do to launch a job search. The times they are a’changing, but some things never change. It’s still important to develop a solid case for firing an employee. It's still important to effectively communicate performance issues. Does the day matter? What day is the best day to fire an employee? Why? See More Reader Responses. Share Your Thoughts

Best day to fire

How about never? That way it doesn't come as a shock or anything.
—Guest Guest

Aren't we talking about firing here?

Firing is never pleasant...any day. However, if we are talking about being fired with just cause and documentation with appropriate counseling, the last straw is the last straw, and thats the correct day. Firing should be reserved for obvious problems. If I am not cooperating, my employer doesn't owe me a thing. Period, It is ridiculous to think otherwise.
—Guest Melissa

As soon as you know

It's not fair to the employee for you to string them along - let them think everything is okay, let them make plans and prepare for the coming week - while all along you and your team have it in the back of your mind that this person is going to get fired. This is being fake and lying to them.
—Guest smrk

Friday's good for me

From an employee standpoint, don't make me wake up and come into work just to fire me. Call me or fire me at the end of an easier work day if you want the least hostile reaction. I like the sound of letting the employee pick the day, but that only really works if the employee was a good worker and you trust them.
—Guest guesty guest

Day off

Is it ethical to fire someone on his/her day off? This is not a response, I'm desperate. I have no good job prospects, and cannot get unemployment. (No, it's not behavior that I would recommend from an employer, but we don't know the circumstance or the rest of your story.)
—Guest Richard baxter

Hire Slowly Fire Quickly

Monday through Wednesday are the ideal days to part ways with an employee because it gives days for the ex employee to get their affairs in order and to contact the company with questions that could come up 24-28 hours after the separation. Many times they have questions regarding COBRA or unemployment. This is also good to be able to manage your current employees for meetings and reactions. Last thing you want is for people to go home over the weekend and stew over it.
—Guest JPR

The Best Day is the Last Day

Although my “response title” is partly expressed tongue-in-cheek, the best day to fire an employee (or the best day to inform an employee they are being recommended to be dismissed for those of you in the public sector who must deal with Governing Boards), is the end date identified in the Performance Improvement Plan. This way there is no surprise. If an employee is receiving honest and transparent feedback about their performance, their dismissal will not come as a surprise.
—Guest Guest Mark

It's simple and a no brainer

Simply - early in the day early in the week. That way you can provide support and care. It's unfair to have past employees without support over a weekend leaving them to get increasingly angry or distressed. Letting them go fairly, with support early is the only acceptable way to let people go.
—Guest Neil Stevenson

Talk About Ruining a Weekend!

Assuming all proper steps were taken in advance that led to a termination, I prefer to stay away from Fridays because you leave the employee emotionally freefalling all weekend with nothing but time on their hands to vent. It becomes a totally bad weekend and one that is remembered for a long time. When a termination occurs mid-week, the rest of the world is still working. Despite job searching being available on the weekend, it is via the internet and isolating. During a weekday, a terminated employee who is ready to jump in immediately in a job search can call and speak with a live person as they begin to job search. Weekdays can be much more productive. I also think terminations on Fridays can also appear sneaky to an employee since they are going to assume the employer knew all week and just waited it out until Friday, which they'll resent.
—Guest Cathy

Ask the employee

If the communication has been consistent ask the employee to choose the day. Even if it is sudden, have the employee choose the day. Will reflect really well on the company and make it easy for the employee
—Guest Gautam

How to fire

My husband is a dentist. We have our own practice. Our hygenist can't keep it professional . She always text my husband 10-11 pm about her personal life and texting him on her day off to see how is he doing. I'm going to let her go. What is the best way. Thanks.
—Guest Oasis

Day not to fire!

I will concede any day should be a good day to fire a non-productive employee. However, if that employee has been an asset to your growing company by doing the job of 2-3 employees, but you are pissy because they are having health issues and aren't able to put in the 50+ hours they previously did (while only getting paid for 40 as are salaried) do NOT fire them 2 days before their MAJOR surgery. Also even though they were salaried, you opted to put them back on hourly due to missing days at work, thus it being a benefit to you and not your employee.
—Guest Angie

Any day doesn't matter

The sooner the better. Why make an employee wait until they clock in the next day to tell them they are fired - or at the end of the week.
—Guest kitten

Friday is the best day

In response to the people that say that Friday is bad because the employee/ former employee cannot job search for two days - I know when my daughter was fired by a dentist (during her pregnancy), she was not emotionally ready to apply for another job for about 10 days. I think people need the weekend (at least) to let off steam, get through the initial shock, etc. before starting to look for another job.
—Guest Paula

Downsizing specialist

We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week.
—Guest Bob

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What Is the Best Day to Fire an Employee and Why?

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