Termination Process

The end of employment is an inevitable within every company. However, understanding whether the termination was voluntary or involuntary is not always clear. So, listed below are examples of some of the most common circumstances under which employment is terminated:

Voluntary Termination Scenarios

  • Resignation: initiated solely by an employee.
  • Retirement: initiated by the employee meeting all requirements by the employer for retirement

Involuntary Termination Scenarios

  • Discharge: termination initiated solely by the employer and is usually due to an employee’s negative behavior or poor performance.
  • Layoff or Reduction in Force (RIF): initiated by the employer for non-disciplinary reasons. This type of termination usually involves some sort of severance package.
Whether you have a voluntary or involuntary termination within your company, it is always a good idea to document everything. Even in the event that it is an amicable termination, which is generally the case with voluntary terminations, make sure that you have process documented in order to protect both the employee and your company. In addition to receiving a resignation letter, create a termination folder that includes a Voluntary Termination Agreement, Employment Exit Interview Survey and Cobra Forms.

How much Notice Should I Expect When an Employee Resigns?

When an employee gives his notice of resignation, it is usually brief, stating only that the person intends to leave the company and the effective date of the resignation. Professional courtesy suggests that employees give at least two weeks’ notice. In some positions, 30-day notice is appropriate, particularly when the employee is an executive-level employee. In the case of voluntary resignations, it is always good to send an “Employee Exit Interview Survey” so you can gain insight on the real reason for their departure.

Recruiting a Replacement

It is not unusual to ask your employee to help recruit his replacement.The employee who has just resigned may have a better insight into what the daily expectations are, and helpful tips for performing optimally in the position. In addition, they can assist in training and orientation for your new hire. This enables the newly hired employee to work closely with the person who understands the job duties, which makes for a smoother transition.

What to do If you have to Fire Someone or Perform an Involuntary Termination

When developing your own involuntary termination procedure (firing), keep the following key points in mind:

  • Always inform the employee of their termination with at least one other witness. When possible, hold a private meeting to perform the termination process.
  • Immediately disable the employee’s network access to any files or computer databases.
  • Retrieve any keys, timecards, IDs, or other physical access devices.
  • Escort the ex-employee off the premises.
  • Arrange for the return of any off-site equipment that the ex-employee may possess, such as notebooks, documentation, cell phones, computers, I-pads etc.
  • Have the final paycheck including vacation pay ready along with the termination packet that should include an Involuntary Termination Letter with Release, COBRA Notices,  your specific state Unemployment Insurance Information (http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp).