these same reasons will be relied on by the employee, if it comes to that. The employee
should be given an opportunity to talk and to ask questions. However, the employee must
know the decision is non-negotiable and be firmly advised that the decision is final and
debate will serve no purpose. Discuss compensation issues such as severance, salary owed,
vacation, bonuses and commissions, personal days, sick leave, pension and other benefit
plans. Tell the employee she will get information about electing to continue health insurance
under COBRA. The employer must provide information about how to apply for
unemployment benefits. See Section 2.7(B) below.
The employer should try to minimize feelings of anger or hostility. Preserving the
employee’s dignity, including in the way she is treated after being notified, is important.
This means, among other things, that the timing of the meeting (e.g., at the end of the
workday) is important to preserve the employee’s dignity. At the conclusion of the meeting,
the employee should be provided with an opportunity to clear out her desk after hours or on a
weekend, with supervision to avoid the embarrassment of doing so before co-workers.
In some instances where an employer believes the potential for a lawsuit is great, the
employer may strike a deal in which the employee receives enhanced separation benefits in
exchange for signing a release of the employer’s liability for any and all claims related to the
employee’s employment and termination. Finally, minutes of the meeting documenting the
termination should also be prepared and placed in the employee’s personnel records.
PRE-TERMINATION CONSIDERATIONS CHECKLIST
Does the termination deprive the employee of benefits/compensation already earned and/or create a windfall for the employer?
Does the termination violate a contract that is oral, written, or implied by the conduct of the parties?