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How to Handle An Immediate Employee Termination

June 23, 2018

Written by Complete Payroll

immediate termination of employment wooden bridge

employee terminations wooden bridge

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.

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In response, consider the following decisive steps you can take to quickly and effectively resolve the situation:

  1. 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.

  2. If the employee does not appear to be dangerous, notify law enforcement authorities if an illegal act has taken place.

  3. Call upon internal security personnel, if available.

  4. Arrange for the employee’s final paycheck.

  5. Secure a room for private discussion.

  6. Situate yourself closest to the door for quick access to and from the outside.

  7. Remain calm, polite, respectful, and professional.

  8. State the observed offense calmly and with a third witness attending, preferably another member of Management.

  9. Allow the employee to respond, and listen.

  10. Inform the employee that their employment is terminated.

  11. Continue to allow the employee to inquire about employment termination.

  12. Obtain the return of all company property.

  13. Permit the employee to gather personal items from their work area, if appropriate.

  14. Escort the former employee from the premises with the clear understanding that their return is viewed as trespassing.

  15. Document in detail for the record. 

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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:

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.

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