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Employee Termination Checklist

March 10, 2008

Employee Termination Checklist

Know precisely why the employee is being dismissed; the grounds should be based, obviously, upon nondiscriminatory reasons.

Once the decision is made, set a private appointment in your office to ensure control and privacy. Under no circumstances should the dismissal be done on the telephone or in a social setting.

There is never a “good” time to dismiss, but an early Monday or Tuesday is preferred to a 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Emphasize that after a complete review of all relevant factors, the decision is final and irrevocable.

Keep the meeting brief. Get the bad news across at the outset. Avoid platitudes.

Let the dismissed employee have an opportunity to get his “side” across, without interruption. Yes, keep control of the meeting, and in no way waver in your determination that the decision is final.

Do not discuss the situation with any other employee.

Have any final payroll checks, benefits, or vacation payments prepared in advance.

Regardless of the reason for termination, be sure the employee understands his/her rights regarding employee benefits (e.g., group insurance continuation, pension plan electives, unemployment insurance).

While most employees respond to a dismissal with shock and anger, it rarely reaches the level anticipated or feared by managers.


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