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How to Get a Boss Fired

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If you want to get your boss dismissed, you'll need solid documentation of his transgressions, a team of people who concur with your opinion, and solid partnerships with the people who will make the final decision. Even with that, however, there's a good chance that nothing will change, suggested human resources expert Suzanne Lucas in an article on the CBS MoneyWatch website. Hiring managers don't like to admit they've made a mistake; plus, your boss likely has a lot more leverage at the company than you do.

Document Problems

Most states are at-will employment states, meaning the employer can fire an employee for any reason, or for no reason at all, unless that employee has a contract that lays out the reasons she can be fired. Contracts -- as well as local laws -- might prohibit stealing or engaging in corrupt practices, seriously neglecting duties or violating company policies, harassing employees, or incompetency that endangers the health or safety of the business or its employees, for example. For you, the first step is to gather as much evidence as you can about your boss' bad behavior. That includes saving emails, correspondence, or copies of work she's done, as well as writing down the details of face-to-face interactions, including the date, time, place and nature of the interaction.

Form Partnerships

Your argument will also carry more weight if you have others who can corroborate your story. As you gather evidence, ask others who agree with your assessment to join you and do the same. Human resources officers or higher-ups in the company might be able to write off a complaint from a single employee, but when they hear it from multiple people, it becomes a more serious thing. It also helps the higher-ups understand what the problems really are, Lucas says.

Appeal to the Higher Ups

Simply stating your case might not be enough, however. Another helpful tactic is to ingratiate yourself to someone who makes the decisions. In the article "How to Get Your Boss Fired" in Forbes, career coach Sarah Stamboulie describes how an employee made alliances with superiors in the business' home office by following the home office policies, even when her boss in the satellite office chose not to. By doing so, she proved her abilities, said Stamboulie. In general, being well-liked by the company and having a solid work history there can strengthen your case.

Make the Case

Present the evidence you've gathered -- ideally in person -- to someone who can make a decision on the matter, such as a higher executive or the human resources officer. Writing up a report that synthesizes all the information can also give the person something to review later, when the meeting is done. Whatever your complaints are, don't make the argument about personal relationships, but instead about how the boss' actions are costing the business money. Avoid getting emotional as you make your case; instead, frame your argument around how the entire organization is suffering. Once you've shared your evidence, leave the matter alone. It's not up to you to make the final decision or to follow the steps for terminating your boss. Chances are your employer will conduct an investigation -- which could be a lengthy process -- so if you're truly unhappy because of your boss' actions, the next step may be to start looking for another job.


Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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