Firing, a job to do right the first time
June 12th, 2018 by hrsimple
"You’re fired." On The Apprentice, Donald Trump made it look so easy! For the rest of us, a poorly done termination could be costly. Emotions run high, there is a lot of paperwork involved, and an employer can end up with a big mess on their hands. Taking the time to do a termination properly can keep an employer out off court, so here are a few best practices to consider.
- Give the employee the chance to speak. In terminations, as in most things, people like to feel like they are being heard. Letting an employee let off steam or plead their case can be enough to avoid further issues. Take a few minutes to chat about the reasons behind the termination, but make sure to listen.
- Get a reference release. Type up the basic facts of employment that would be given if a future prospective employer were to call looking for a reference down the line. Have the employee sign to avoid any future confusion or possible defamation accusations.
- Determine how the final paycheck will be given. Some states require final pay to be given within a certain amount of time, a few even require it be given immediately.
- Explain how the employee can arrange to receive benefits, if any, including COBRA continuation coverage. Provide proper documents when applicable.
- Consider having the employee sign a release form. Having an employee sign a brief explanation of the reasons behind the termination and explaining that they understand any non-compete agreements or waivers of rights can be extremely useful to employers in the case of litigation.
While firing is probably not your favorite HR task (at least I hope it isn’t!), it is something that comes up now and again. Take the time to terminate correctly, otherwise you might have to fire someone twice…talk about awkward!
This blog was written by Robin Shea at Constangy, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Georgia Employers. You can find the original on their Employment & Labor Insider blog (which is one of our favorites and is excellent).
Second-guessing the advice columns: Don't lie about ...
This blog was written by Shelby Skeabeck, formerly of Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog post here and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter (which is excellent) here.
No, You Can’t Sleep on the Job, Especially when it’s...
This blog was written by Mathew Parker at Fisher Phillips, which authors several of our resources. You can find the original here and their On the Front Lines Workplace Law Newsletter (which is excellent) here.
We Need to Talk: 5 Tips For Conducting Difficult Workplace Conversations
This blog was written by Robin Shea at Constangy, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Georgia Employers. You can find the original here and their Employment & Labor Insider blog (which is one of our favorites and is excellent) here.
Zero tolerance for "zero tolerance" polic...
Do employers need to provide a reason to a discharged employee?
Federal law does not require employers to provide terminated employees with a written explanation for their discharge. However, many states have litigation in place that calls for an employer to provide documentation outlining the...