Of course, you cannot fire an employee through phone. So employers are left with no choice but to the drop the bomb right in front of the employee.
Thus, in an aim to make a job termination meeting easy for both employers and employees, particularly in California, where firing can be made for any reason except discrimination and retaliation, a wrongful termination lawyer shares some tips on how employers could prepare and conduct a smooth job termination meeting.
First of all, since termination is a very saddening experience, consider the place where to break the bad news to the employee. Think of a place where the employee will be most comfortable, somewhere private that ensures the confidentiality of the topic you want to discuss. Also, it could be a place where you can leave the employee after the meeting and let him or her have her time to digest the news as well as to collect his or her thoughts. It could be in the employee’s private office if he or she has one, at the office’s conference room, or in a private neutral spot.
During the meeting, comment on the employee’s specific problems that have occurred based on his or her employment history. Mention the company’s attempt to correct those problems. In that way, it will be going to be pretty clear to the employee where the meeting leads to.
The main course
This may sound harsh, but after stating the employee’s employment record, the employer has to tell the employee immediately that he or she is being terminated before he or she feels foolish about him or herself or become off-guarded.
Subsequently, after breaking the bad news, explain the reasons that contributed to the termination briefly and clearly.
Although employers themselves may feel sorry for the employee on the other hand, this is not the proper time for counseling. Also, forget about complimenting the employee during a termination meeting since it might only hurt his or her feelings.
While, explaining the reason for the employee’s termination, be sure that what you are telling is consistent and true.
Be sure that the HR will fully explain to the employee any benefits, including COBRA and unemployment compensation, which the employee is entitled to receive following the termination. Also, let the employee know when the benefits will be received. If the employee is not going to receive certain benefits, let the HR explain the reason.
Freedom of speech
Before the meeting ends, give the employee an opportunity to speak for him or herself and pay attention to them. But, there is no need to argue with the employee in an effort to justify the employment decision.
During such employment decision-making, be sure that the termination is not based on any forms of discrimination or retaliation. Moreover, during the meeting, do not mention any reference to the employee’s race, gender, religion or disability.