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Termination Considerations

Arlene Vernon

Arlene VernonI recently conducted a presentation on the 3D’s: Discipline, Documentation, Dismissal. In customizing the presentation, I decided to brainstorm those questions that I typically receive from clients or seminar attendees related to handling terminations. I thought I’d share several items from that list in the newsletter.

Q: Should I give an employee the option to resign rather than terminating her?

A: That is an option if you want the person to be able to ‘truthfully’ answer that they resigned when they apply for future jobs. But realize that for unemployment purposes this is still a termination which means that the former employee will receive unemployment benefits unless you contest it.

Additionally, when the former employee files for unemployment you must answer that you offered the employee the choice to resign or be terminated and they chose resignation. Since the unemployment process is a legal process, and you never know what legal claims may come in the future, your documentation must be consistent.

Q: An employee resigns and gives two-weeks’ notice. Do I have to accept the notice?

A: If the resigning employee has been a problem performer, if the employee is working around sensitive information, or if the employee is likely to cause problems during the notice period or not work at all, my recommendation is to accept the resignation effective immediately and let the person go. This is still considered a resignation, you’ve just sped up the effective date.

Many employers choose to pay the employee the notice period. That way you’re recognizing that the employee gave you the notice you’ve likely asked for in your employee handbook. And in case the now former employee talks to other employees about being let go, at least it shows that you respected the notice period.

It’s important to note that if you always decline employees’ notice periods, your employees will stop giving you notice. So determine what’s right in each circumstance.

Q: What do I tell my employees after I just fired their coworker?

A: Of course, that depends on the circumstance of the termination. I typically recommend that you inform employees individually or as a group (depending on the culture and workplace), “Joe is no longer with us. I’m not planning to share the details, but this is how I’d like you to handle it when customers call to ask for him…”

Employees understand that when an employee exits swiftly that a termination has occurred. And while they’re curious, if they were the one terminated, they wouldn’t want everyone to know the details why – which is how I would answer any probing questions.

The most important piece is recreating the team, planning with them how to fill the gap so that work is accomplished most efficiently and explaining how you’re re-filling the position.

If you have any HR questions that you’d like answered in HRxaminer, feel free to email them to me. I enjoy answering these kinds of questions.

Matt Krumrie, writer for Zip Recruiter as well as other publications, utilizes my HRxpertise as a resource for his columns. Here’s a link to some of the articles that I’ve been quoted in this year: Arlene in Zip Recruiter

©2014 Arlene Vernon

HR Mastery – An On-Going Learning Process

Every fall I let my readers know that I’m beginning enrollment for the 2015 HR Mastery Groups that I facilitate.

2015 will be the 9th year that I’m offering this opportunity for you to meet monthly with a small group of your HR peers to share ideas, best practices and issues as well as to learn from local HR experts who present on key topics.

Whether HR is 100% of your responsibilities or a part of your job responsibilities, this is a great educational and developmental opportunity for you.

And one of the greatest benefits of being in an HR Mastery Group is knowing that you’re not alone when you have your HR Mastery team supporting you.

For one annual fee you receive the following:

  • HRx hotline – Free access to me throughout the year for phone consultations related to any HR question or issue you may encounter
  • 2-hour monthly meetings, with custom selected topics based on your group’s interests
  • Email and phone access to your HR Mastery team
  • Laughter, support and practical information you can use immediately

If HR is not your area of expertise and you know someone who you think would benefit from this opportunity, please email this newsletter to them or let me know and I’d be pleased to contact them.

To learn more about HR Mastery or any of my consulting or training services, please email me at Arlene@ArleneVernon.com or call me at 952-996-0975.

Groups will be starting in January, so the sooner you sign up, the sooner we can start planning the 2015 calendar!

About Arlene Vernon

Arlene has provided HR consulting and management training services to over 500 organizations since starting HRx, Inc. in 1992.

If you’re seeking a hands-on, practical HRxpert to assist your organization with employee relations, policy development, strategic HR activities or fun/doable management training, call on Arlene – Your HRxpert.

If you’re planning a conference, seminar or special event, Arlene specializes in keynotes, seminars and workshops to meet your talent management needs. And if you’re seeking a more lively entertaining activity, Arlene’s custom songs and musical-inspirational keynote may be perfect for your organization!

HRx, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN 55344, 952.996.0975 www.HRxcellence.com. Arlene@ArleneVernon.com

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