In my previous video, I discussed the importance of effectively managing employee performance. I shared this information on the heels of the NFL's "Black Monday."

As evidenced in the NFL and most workplaces across America, terminations are inevitable. For this reason, I'd like to share with you a termination checklist to help ensure compliance and a more seamless transition:

Tip Number One

Determine if the employee is employed at-will or under an employment agreement. If there is an employment agreement, make sure that the termination is consistent with the terms. Check for severance provisions, which typically are triggered if the termination is without cause.

Number Two

Gather and review any additional agreements or documents that set forth the rights and obligations of the employer and employee. These may include:

  • Offer letters
  • Manuals and handbooks
  • Covenant agreements
  • Stock agreements
  • Partnership and operating agreements
  • And benefit plans.

Number Three

Review state final payment rules. Some states require payment of a terminated employee's final paycheck immediately or within a certain timeframe.

Number Four

Gather documents that support the termination decision – these may include performance reviews or examples of mistakes.

Number Five

Analyze potential litigation risks.

Is the employee in a protected class?

Did the employee engage in protected activity?

Did the employee recently take a medical leave of absence or return from a medical leave of absence?

Did the employer treat similarly situated employees the same?

Number Six

Consider offering severance payments in exchange for signing a release of claims. This helps the employee get through the transition and removes concerns of a lawsuit by the employee.

Finally, Number Seven

Prepare for the termination meeting. Plan the timing and location of the termination meeting, draft a script of what will be said, and gather any relevant documentation, such as:

  • Separation notices required by state unemployment agencies
  • Copies of employment agreements that have post-termination obligations including employee covenant agreements
  • Benefit information
  • Outplacement services
  • And the separation agreement, if applicable.

I know that I've provided you with a lot of information today. For additional tips for your "termination checklist," please see my next video in this series.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.