||Oracle Tips by Burleson
The action of firing an employee for serious
violations may occur immediately and avoid the progressive discipline
process. For violations that are not severe enough to require
immediate dismissal, the termination may still follow the process of
progressive discipline if the undesirable behavior or performance is
Only the employee’s direct manager, any witnesses,
and the employee to be released should be in attendance at the
. Employment law does not require
witnesses to be present, but it is a good idea to be prudent in
holding a higher standard. Having a witness at the termination meeting
can provide additional support for the employer if a lawsuit is later
filed by the employee.
Knowledge of the impending termination should be
known only by the direct manager, the IS director, the employee,
witnesses, and the Human Resources department.
Any other individuals having knowledge of these proceedings can have
numerous negative consequences including the triggering of retaliatory
actions by the offending employee causing disruption within the IS
organization, and undermining the employer’s perceived integrity.
The best time to actually present the termination
notice is earlier in the day and week. In the past, many employers
would fire an individual on a Friday because it seemed like a logical
time to separate at the end of the work week. Firing an employee at
the end of the work week tends to have a greater negative impact on
the individual, who is then more prone to unpredictable behavior.
When the manager, employee, and possibly a witness
are present at the discharge meeting, the manager should proceed in a
very direct and precise manner. The employee should be told they are
being terminated as of today and indicate the reason for the
termination. The IT manager should have made prior preparation in his
or her mind for what will be said. An inexperienced manager may become
anxious about performing the dismissal and some have their minds go
blank during these proceedings.
If the manager fumbles for words, the simplest way
to perform the dismissal is to say ‘You’re Fired!’ There are no more
direct or meaningful words than those. Review the warnings that were
previously given and any opportunities that the employee may have had
to improve but did not. If the undesirable behavior is one that
requires immediate dismissal versus a progressive discipline
firing, then obviously previous warnings or opportunities for
improvement will not exist.
In some situations, companies allow employees to
resign their job instead of being fired. This may be done with the
intention of saving the individual embarrassment and hardship with
future job applications. Nonetheless, the ‘choice’ of being fired or
resigning from the job results in employment termination and
accomplishes the task at hand.
Employees are not entitled to termination notice
for firings under at-will employment
and for just cause. Notice usually applies to mass layoffs that are
planned and for which employees are being released for business
reasons. These business reasons may entail the elimination of a job
position or function. The IT manager should explain to the employee
that they will be paid for any monies due regarding vacation days,
etc. There are states that require the employer to present the
employee with his or her final paycheck as well as payment for unused
vacation at the time of dismissal. Failure to comply may result in the
imposition of penalties on the employer.
Terminated employees may qualify for severance pay
However, severance pay is not
an entitlement if the IT employee:
Regardless of entitlement, employers should
consider providing severance pay anyway under
specific situations to soften the impact on the employee of the
firing, and perhaps to obtain a release from future legal claims.
During the termination meeting
, the manager should make clear that the employee should leave the
company premises on the same day (usually within one hour of being
fired), and that they may collect their personal belongings. They may
also be given the option of having their personal items mailed to
Throughout the termination meeting, the manager
should afford all respect and dignity to the employee. He or she
should also remain firmly resolved to complete the task of dismissal.
If the employee attempts to derail the termination dialogue and throw
the manager off track, the manager must stay focused on completing the
The witness, if present, should not engage in
dialogue unless that person is the Human Resources
representative and has been assigned the task of explaining the
disposition of termination benefits. The role of most witnesses is
solely to listen to the proceedings and to corroborate testimony as a
safeguard against possible future litigation for wrongful termination
All company property such as the employee badge,
keys, pagers, cell phones, and personal computers need to be recovered
from the employee at exit time. Most of these items are available on
the work premises, although it may be necessary for the manager to
follow the employee home to retrieve a personal computer for example.
A predefined checklist of items to collect upon employee exit will
ensure that all property is accounted for. The IT employee’s computer
system access must be revoked immediately, and passwords for other
general access accounts changed.
See Figure 4.4 for a Sample Employment Termination
form should be reviewed and approved by an attorney concerning all
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"