How To Use
The focus of any job termination interview should be to gain the individual’s signature to this document. The purpose is self-evident: avoid later claims, lawsuits, contentious behavior, and the like. Companies have no affirmative obligations to provide severance or other benefits after termination.
- The reason for the benefits being granter are humanitarian and to protect the Company on the other. It only makes sense that if the Company is granting a benefit, the consideration is to receive relief from future problems from that individual. This document accomplishes that purpose.
- Your best chance of getting this signed, and picking up the attendant leverage to avoid a future lawsuit, is on the spot early in the termination meeting. Present the Release as required to discuss severance and related matters; get two copies signed; give one to the Employee. When signed, excuse yourself from the meeting; get a copy or copies made and have those put away securely by another employee or yourself in a previously decided upon location (the Accounting Office is an appropriate place). The purpose of this is to prevent “buyer’s remorse” or second thoughts by the Employee about signature. Now it is done.
- If you do not get signature, we suggest you then offer no termination or severance benefits until that is done. In most cases, that alters the framework of the discussion and you will get the signature.
- Once you do get the signature, which you will in the vast majority of cases, your mission becomes to help the Employee heal themselves from the bad news. To do this, emphasize that termination related to overall issues not the employee themselves, unless this approach is dictated against by obvious facts in the case.
- The worst time for termination is Friday afternoon when the employee has the weekend to fret over it. The best time is early in the week at the end of the day so both the terminator and terminated can go home afterwards and get ready for the next business day. The question about Company property is always a tricky one. Many companies have resorted to escorting people out and packing up their goods. There is good reason for this. You have to make this decision for yourself.
- Get two originals signed; give one to the employee and keep one for your files. Remove yours immediately, as stated above, upon receipt.
- Although this is a tough thing to do, it is management’s job to do. Nothing can sugar coat the pain inflicted by termination, though it is more common these days and there is less shame from the event for the individual as a result. Do your best to preserve the individual’s dignity so they can heal quickly and move on with their life. Whatever you do, don’t blame the employee.