Posted on: July 6th, 2021 by
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There are generally two types of concerns leading to termination:  Performance and policy violations. Sometimes the concern is a judgement call in the eyes of the beholder.  So, what are the causes, signs and types of termination, and for what?


A survey from “Career Builder” defines some surprising causes of termination:

  • 22% are fired for calling-ins to your boss as “unavailable for work” with a fake excuse
  • 24% are fired for using the Internet for a non-work-related activity
  • 41% are fired for being consistently late
  • 17% are fired for posting something on social media that’s unauthorized or negative

One question to ask: Are these reasons a result of working remotely, but the policies are a legacy from an office environment? Have the policies changed with working remotely?


So, what are other common reasons for employees being terminated?  Here are some:

  • Fibbing on your resume. The implications to fabricating experiences or past results can lead to termination and even a lawsuit.  It’s not worth it.
  • Drug or Alcohol Possession at Work. Most policies state that under the influence at work shall be cause for termination or prosecution by the authorities
  • Sub-standard performance. Check in with your boss periodically so you’re not surprised. However, make sure the results expected are not impossible.
  • Stealing or destroying company property. This can range from a ream of paper to pulling the fire alarm as a prank.  Be careful about “borrowing” company equipment.
  • Taking too much time off. There’s usually a policy about sick days and absences. Intermittent time off is a problem when others are dependent upon you.
  • This can be a grey area unless confrontational. Refusal to follow instructions, obstructing the work of others, or counter-communications are examples.
  • Using a company computer for personal use. Have both a personal and company computer.  Never watch a movie, send emails or play a game on company equipment.
  • Violating Company Policy.Know what the policies are.  If a question arises, ask your supervisor. Sticky issues: Office dating, social media comments, company information.


What are some of the signs that there’s a problem?

  • Your role or responsibilities shrink Instead of expanding
  • New assignments, tasks or opportunities pass you by
  • Feedback is negative and performance appraisals are less than satisfactory
  • You are given tasks that are beyond your capability or training.


Termination “for cause” is much more problematic than a termination due to a reorganization, merger or even performance.  “For cause” means a major policy was breached like sexual harassment, stealing, insubordination or drug use at work.  A termination for performance can be toned-down during an interview by relegating the issue to the company’s lack of training, unreasonable supervisor or unusual circumstances.


Summary:  Very seldom is termination a surprise.  The indicators and steps toward termination are visible.  Know company policies and check out performance periodically.


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