Employee Termination Checklist

What you need to know to fire and layoff


Helpful Article For Employers

Employee Termination Checklist
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New concept in employee termination


The Right Way To Fire an Employee

It has come down to the unhappy moment when there is no other choice—you must fire an employee. One of many valid reasons (incompetence, violation of company rules, necessary downsizing, and the like) has brought you to this decision. Now you must take action.

First, you must act decisively. Once you decide to fire an employee, procrastination will only make a bad situation worse. This is especially true if the employee senses imminent termination in his or her future. The longer you put off the procedure, the more time the employee has to go into the defense mode. He or she will consciously or unconsciously try to make you feel the problem is you. In the worst case scenario, the employee will take actions that hurt your business. The other end of that spectrum is the employee will simply slack off; sometimes, stopping work altogether.

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Employee Termination Check List For Employers



When you have a problem employee, you must carry out the employee termination process properly. Otherwise, you may fire the employee only to find yourself in the middle of a wrongful termination lawsuit. This can cost your company in both time and money. And if you are unlucky you may be forced to hire the employee back. Using an employee termination checklist can help ensure you follow all the correct procedures when "letting someone go."

Items For An Employee Termination Checklist

As you now know, firing an employee is not as simple as saying "you're fired." It's a legal procedure and is therefore much more complicated that it appears on the surface. As a manager or small business owner, you should consider putting the following items on an employee termination checklist. This will help you, and any other manager you hire, protect both your rights as an employer and your worker's rights as an employee. It prevents further headaches down the road from an angry former worker.

1. Compile The Proper Documentation
You or your manager should have the right legal documents in place before you begin termination procedures. Be aware that paperwork you use to support the case for firing may end up in a court of law. In other words, make sure it is professional, unbiased and follows company policy.

2. Prepare The Termination Letter
Check with your Human Resources Department. They likely have a template available for you to use. Otherwise find a template and adjust it according to your specific needs. Make sure your attorney reviews it.

3. Create A Severance Package
Of course, this is only if you are going to offer this employee severance pay or benefits. Again, check with your Human Resources Department and see what the standard severance package should be. You should have this package ready for the employee during the termination meeting.

4. Come Up With Additional Agreements
As an employer you may wish to have the employee sign an employee termination agreement or a non-compete agreement. Make sure whatever you draft is run by either your Human Resources Personnel or your business attorney.

5. Prepare An Agenda For The Termination Meeting
You must know exactly what you are going to say and how you will say it. Make sure you set up a meeting room ahead of time that is away from the individual's coworkers. Also you might consider having another representative from the company there. Usually a member of the Human Resources Department is a good choice.

6. List Out Those Items The Former Worker Must Return
Employee terminations are stressful for both the employer and the employee. During this time, you may forget to ask the worker to return important company property. Recovering it after the employee is gone will prove difficult.

7. Conduct An Employee Exit Interview
It is usually best to have a third-party do this for you.

As a business owner or manager, you should handle employee terminations in a responsible manner. If you do, you will have greater success in protecting your business from wrongful termination lawsuits. In addition, you will create a better working environment for the employees remaining at your company.

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