How Do You Terminate an Employee?


Quick Answer

The first step to terminating an employee is to prepare important records. Next, establish a basis for termination and explore alternatives to termination. Conduct an exit interview, and prepare a comprehensive release and termination document.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare important documentation

    Keep comprehensive records on each employee including memos, warnings and performance appraisals. The documents must record instances of misconduct or poor performance to be used as evidence in case of litigation.

  2. Establish a basis for termination

    Review memoranda, policy statements and personnel manuals to establish a basis for termination. Possible reasons for termination include refusal to perform assigned work, missing too much work and committing discriminatory acts against others. Ensure that the termination is consistent with the personnel manual.

  3. Explore alternatives to termination

    Allow the employee an opportunity to correct poor performance if this is the reason for termination. Meet with the employee to hear his side of the story where customer complaints, insubordination or incidents are concerned. Record the meeting, and collect additional facts.

  4. Conduct an exit interview

    Arrange a meeting with the employee to explain the reasons for discharge. Use evidence and explanations to show the employee that the decision is consistent with the company’s practices.

  5. Prepare a release and termination document

    Write a comprehensive release and termination document. Include important information such as grounds for termination and severance pay in the document.

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