Terminable vs Terminated

Is the sentence below okay with 'terminable'?

Being under the influence of alcohol or unprescribed narcotics while working is a terminable offense.

Are the two sentences below okay with the use of 'terminated'?

The supervisor terminated Joe's employment.

Joe's employment was terminated by his immediate supervisor.

Bad wording: Joe's supervisor terminated him. (This wording appears as if the supervisor killed him.)

Bad wording: Joe's supervisor terminated him from employment. (Same as above.)


It seems like "terminating" might work better.

"Working while under the influence of alcohol or unprescribed narcotics can be a terminating offense."

I used "can be" rather than "is" because "terminable" would imply that the offense may or may not result in termination.

PS - When safety is an issue, working under the influence of prescribed narcotics might also be a terminating offense.

  • Terminable offense is the usual phrasing in HR documents. Terminating offense sounds more like Firefly slang. And terminatable is a misspelling, I think. – Bradd Szonye Feb 26 '14 at 23:15

Are we talking here about dismissal with notice/payment in lieu of notice, or 'summary dismissal'?

In the UK there is a big difference. An employee who commits an act of 'gross misconduct' can legally be summarily dismissed without notice, or payment in lieu of notice, on the spot. 'Gross misconduct' will vary, depending on the type of industry, but something like striking a fellow employee would constitute gross misconduct, virtually anywhere. Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs most likely would too.

Other forms of dismissal will be subject to the company's disciplinary policy. Employees with more than two years' service are legally entitled to verbal and written warnings, as to their conduct or job performance, before dismissal can take effect.

Therefore my wording would be as follows:

'Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will constitute an act of gross misconduct, for which you are liable to be summarily dismissed.'

  • 2
    This sounds good for UK English. In American HR jargon I think terminable offense is synonymous with your gross misconduct, and terminated employment is summary dismissal. – Bradd Szonye Feb 27 '14 at 0:03
  • @BraddSzonye Any employee who works more than (I think) 13 hours per week, under UK law, has to be given a written contract of employment. This will set out terms as to notice periods etc in the event of dismissal. However, the way it works legally, I think, is that an act of gross misconduct breaches the contract of employment, rendering it null and void - so an employer is entitled instantly, or summarily to dismiss the employee. – WS2 Feb 27 '14 at 8:03

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