Navigating the Termination Process

Navigating the Termination Process


Fortunately for business owners and the managers of organizations, the vast majority of workplace separations are voluntary. Employees find opportunities elsewhere, notify their supervisors and move on without rancor.

However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, employees are just a bad fit for the organization. Inter-personnel issues also have the ability to plague the productivity of the workers who are involved in those disputes, as well as those who aren’t. Constant performance or attendance issues occasionally make it necessary to let someone go.


Nobody enjoys doing terminations, but it is a necessary part of being a manager. It’s important that if a worker is separated from the company, it is done properly. Otherwise, the organization can incur legal liabilities and the related costs of fighting them.
Here are a few simple things you can do to make the termination process less painful for all involved.

Consult with an Attorney First

Your organization’s insurance company doesn’t want to hear about a termination for the first time through the filing of legal papers. Some may even charge your company to cover costs and risks that they may incur as your insurer, since the door to litigation has been opened.

A phone call to your insurance company will save you a lot of hassle in the long-run. Your insurance company will have access to attorneys who specialize in labor law and will put you in touch with one. It is your obligation to have those conversations and follow the advice given to you by that attorney. Your organization’s ability to function and exist in the future may very well depend on it.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Documentation

Ideally, your organization has files set up for every one of its employees. Those should include all applicable hiring documents, as well as anything relevant that has come up during their time of employment with your company. You will want both hard copies in a physical file and electronic documents that are backed up through your IT department.

Any and all incidents leading up to a termination need to be documented and kept in those files. If an employee is ever disciplined or reprimanded, that also needs to be included. That way, if anything comes up later, an attorney will be able to review those files to help provide the basis for your organization’s defense in the event of a lawsuit being filed.

Don’t Ever Make It Personal

This cuts both ways. It’s easy for employees and their bosses to develop bonds over time if they work closely together. But any attachment or positive feelings must be set aside, as they can cloud a manager’s judgement when it comes to the delicate matter of termination.

Conversely, a bad relationship between an employee and a subordinate can also create potential hazards and liabilities if it carries through to the termination process. It’s critical that it be done as professionally as possible to help lower the organization’s exposure to risk.

If you need any more information, you can contact the highly trained staff at ABI Insurance.

ABI Insurance carries commercial insurance. Its team of qualified professionals are fully equipped to help you manage risks and ensure that your business is protected and you’re covered in the event that anything happens.

For more information on the products and services offered by ABI, call 503-292-1580 or go to