Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I think it depends on what you have done to address this problem in the past.
I know you said this is not his first mistake, but is this the first time you have addressed his mistake?
Have you sat down with him previously and questioned why he did what he did and made it clear that there has been a problem?
I was working at a coffee shop on Friday nights and half my shift was with the day manager and half with the night manager. Each of them had a different way of doing things on the coffee machine, like the way people worked together, the order in which things were done. It confused me a lot so instead I would spend most of the shift on the till and cold drinks just because I didn't want to screw up (the owners had made it very clear we had follow things exactly to guidelines). I wouldn't slack or excessively chat, but I kept away from the hot drinks. Anyway people started not being very nice to me and then I got an email from the owners saying that if I didn't start working properly they would fire me. My night/weekend supervisor heard about the email and decided to call me and discuss it, and I told her how the people who had trained, and then the people who were on the shifts were telling me to do opposite things, and after what the owner said I was nervous to ask questions and to screw up. She was very sympathetic etc. and helped. That a while ago but unless you have spoken to your employee I don't think you should fire him.
I think you should sit down and explain how important this is, and that his performance is not satisfactory. Ask him why he screwed up, he may have some kind of answer. Tell him that his work must improve and that you cannot tolerate further mistakes. If you have already spoken to him regarding work performance then still sit down and ask him why he did it, he may have some reason or some really extenuating circumstances, but if he doesn't then maybe you should fire him.
I would imagine that if you work at a business they would have insurance to cover employee mishaps such as these, and I do not think it would be reasonable to charge him for it. It is after all a workplace, not a leisure place (as it is for many of us) and workplaces run on different rules.