- Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2002 01:34
- Written by Craig Lloyd
Previously we addressed the poor performer, from evaluation and discipline to conducting the confidential search. Now we are ready to proceed with the termination. Pete Moser and Jeff Hirsch of Robinson & Cole, LLP, who provided the top ten mistakes regarding discipline and evaluation in my first column on this issue, have provided a termination checklist.
- Have a witness present.
What is said during the termination meeting may become the subject of a later lawsuit. Both persons should prepare a short memorandum regarding what was said.
- Conduct the meeting in a private place. Avoid causing unnecessary embarrassment or emotional distress to the employee.
A termination meeting, which is handled callously and in full view of the employee's co-workers, could form the basis for an emotional distress or defamation claim.
- Under the laws of most states, you must provide the employee with a final check for all wages earned up to the day of termination. You should include any accrued vacation time. Explain any other benefits to which the employee may be entitled.
Check with labor counsel before making any deductions from the employee's final paycheck. Deductions for equipment, which has not been returned, property damage, etc. are generally unlawful.
- Provide notice of the employee's rights regarding health insurance continuation.
- Provide a pamphlet from your local state regarding "How to file for Unemployment Benefits."
- Keep all facts regarding the termination confidential from your other employees.
It is best to tell as few persons as possible the reason for the termination, to avoid defamation claims. If other employees ask, tell them the employee is no longer with the company, and that the circumstances surrounding his/her leaving are confidential.
- What you actually say to the employee will of course depend on the circumstances. In many cases you may wish to do the following:
- Explain to the employee that the employment relationship is just not working out, and the company has decided to terminate him/her. Explain the true reason for the termination, as succinctly as possible. Be accurate, but not insulting. Explain that the decision was difficult, but that you believe the decision is in the best interests of the Company. Do not offer or agree to provide letter of reference to employees who are terminated for misconduct or poor performance.
- Consider permitting the employee to resign, if the employee would prefer to do so. However, note that the story the employee tells the outside world should be the same story you tell the unemployment agency. The employee should understand that classifying the termination a 'resignation' might affect his / her ability to collect unemployment benefits.
- If you decide to offer severance pay to a particular employee, you should seriously consider making that offer contingent upon the employee signing a release of any legal claims relating to their employment. Consult with your labor counsel before offering or using any severance agreement or release forms. For such agreements to be legally enforceable they need to have very specific language, and be offered to the employee in a particular way.
Close With A Positive
This may be your last opportunity to have the employee leave with a positive impression of you and the company. Do you best to make it positive from their point of view.
Craig Lloyd represents LaundryCareers.com, a management search firm specializing in the industrial / institutional laundry industry. He holds a degree in Industrial Relations from Rider University and has been a Certified Personnel Consultant since 1979.
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.
“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”
“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”
Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.
“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”