Things to Remember When Terminating an Employee Involuntarily (Firing)

Firing employees is stressful, often leading HR professionals to sometimes rush through the process (just to get it over with).  That is a big mistake.  HR professionals need to plan and take the time to organize before the meeting.

Remember to always involve Elayne and Michelle in discussions before making a decision and executing an involuntary termination.

Before the termination:

  • Get IT involved – Ensure the computer access will be terminated while the termination meeting is taking place.
  • Carefully choose a location and time for the meeting – Try to meet near the end of the day or employee’s shift. Try to conduct the meeting in a conference room or office.
  • If necessary, request an officer – Sometimes it may be necessary to ask the OSU Police Department to have an officer in the area of the meeting.

During the termination meeting:

  • Give the employee the termination letter – Allow the employee the time to read the letter.
  • Explain to the employee that the computer access has been shut off – Be sure to note you’ll work with them to get any personal information they have off of their work computer. Ensure them, if they are hourly, the timesheet will be entered on their behalf and they will be paid for all of the time they worked.
  • Final pay – Let the employee know when they will receive the final pay, let them know this pay will include any vacation payout owed to the employee.
  • COBRA – Inform the employee when insurance will end and point out in the termination letter the option for continuing coverage.
  • Change of address – It is important to remind the employee if they move to notify OSU of any change of address, they will need to update their address to obtain the W-2 for that year.
  • Answer questions – Take the time to answer the employee’s questions. If you don’t know the answer, be sure to get contact information and get back with the employee once you have found the answer.

Remember to be respectful during the meeting.  This is a difficult conversation for both the HR Professional and the employee.  Offer to assist the employee with collecting personal items and carrying them out to the car.  Close the meeting by wishing the employee well with future endeavors.

Don’t forget, the employee may be overwhelmed and ask if it is okay to call you with questions later, of course that would be fine., “The firing checklist every HR pro should use”, by Dan Wisniewski, August 29, 2019

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