At times, situations occur in which you will need to carry out an immediate employee termination.
Such warranted circumstances may involve an employee who:
- Brings an unauthorized weapon to work,
- Threatens violence or commits a violent act,
- Views pornographic materials on work computers and on work time,
- Steals company property, and/or
- Commits similar offenses of a dire nature.
In response, consider the following decisive steps you can take to quickly and effectively resolve the situation:
Ensure the employee is not a danger to themself or other employees. If the person appears to be an eminent danger, quickly assist other employees to safety and contact local law enforcement authorities and any security personnel.
If the employee does not appear to be dangerous, notify law enforcement authorities if an illegal act has taken place.
Call upon internal security personnel, if available.
Arrange for the employee’s final paycheck.
Secure a room for private discussion.
Situate yourself closest to the door for quick access to and from the outside.
Remain calm, polite, respectful, and professional.
State the observed offense calmly and with a third witness attending, preferably another member of Management.
Allow the employee to respond, and listen.
Inform the employee that their employment is terminated.
Continue to allow the employee to inquire about employment termination.
Obtain the return of all company property.
Permit the employee to gather personal items from their work area, if appropriate.
Escort the former employee from the premises with the clear understanding that their return is viewed as trespassing.
Document in detail for the record.
For more information and insights into the laws, best practices and complexities around terminating employees, check out our resource page, A Complete Guide to Employee Terminations. It's an all-in-one page that includes thorough insights, instructions and plenty of links to other helpful resources.
Additionally, here are some other articles that focus on the difficult subject of terminating employees:
- How to Script Your Termination Meeting
- Can You Fire An Employee For Something They Did Outside of Work?
- Paying a Terminated Employee Their Last Paycheck
- About Leave of Absence Employee Terminations
- How to Address Alcohol in the Workplace
- How to Measure and Minimize Employee Turnover
- How to Handle an Employee That's Abusing Your Sick Leave Policy
- How to Terminate an Employee in New York State
- Can You Terminate An Employee On Leave?
- The Difference Between a Severance Package and a Severance Agreement
- 3 Exceptions to At-Will Employment
- Termination Meetings: Where and When to Conduct the Most Difficult Conversation
- Alternatives to Employee Terminations
- Can You Terminate an Employee Over the Phone?
- Can You Fire An Employee For Something They Said Online?
- How to Inform Your Staff About a Terminated Employee
- When Should You Fire An Intern?
- Can You Fire An Independent Contractor?