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
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
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.
recommended employee termination checklist & procedure