No one wants to terminate employees, but when it’s necessary, there’s no substitute for good planning.
Proactive documentation and conversation
It’s key to document troubling behaviors or issues with employees as they occur, verbally or in writing. Otherwise, by the time termination is necessary, you’ll be left unprepared. When termination is inevitable, it’s important to act quickly and compliantly, which requires proactive documentation. A termination should never surprise the employee, and documentation will help ensure that it does not; it’s justification for the termination and evidence if a lawsuit arises.
If the termination is face-to-face, it’s best to have a witness to minimize any later he-said-she-said issues. The witness can be another manager or HR team member. Also, the employee may record the conversation, so the termination should be quick with little discussion and no apologies.
For employers with 100 or more employees, it’s necessary to provide at least 60 days’ advance notice of a plant closing or layoff affecting 50 or more employees.
At the time of termination, you need to provide the proper materials. The termination packet should include several key documents.
This agreement can be applicable in a layoff or to ensure you mutually part ways. Once an employee signs a severance agreement, the likelihood of a lawsuit diminishes as their signature waives their right to sue your company. However, it’s recommended to discourage the employee from signing the severance on the day you provide it to avoid any claims of coercion.
Terminated employees need to receive information about their benefits and COBRA options.
Compensation requirements vary by state. In Missouri, a terminated employee must receive a final paycheck at the time of termination. In Kansas, compensation can be provided on the next payroll.
Termination should never be a knee-jerk reaction to an incident. Planning minimizes disruption to your organization. Our termination checklist ensures you check all the boxes from proper notices to the return of company keys and equipment. For our comprehensive termination checklist, contact Randy Woehl or Christina Glapa at 913.345.0440.