This document sets forth a checklist for employers in the context of an employee
termination. There exists a number of issues that must be considered by an employer
when terminating an employee in order to maintain the security of the employer’s
property, as well as to ensure that the employer’s legal rights are protected. This sample
checklist is useful to an employer in analyzing the issues raised prior to termination,
such as the existence of an arbitration agreement, considerations and plans for a
termination meeting, and issues to consideration after termination, such as an exit
Checklist For Employers -- Pre-termination, Termination Meeting, and Post-Termination
1. Review employment offer letter or employment agreement.
A. Check to make certain the employee is not subject to any notice of breach or
default or termination provisions or other conditions in connection with the termination of
B. Make sure to comply with any such provisions in terminating the employee.
2. Review any arbitration agreement.
A. Check to make certain the employee has signed any arbitration agreement the
Company may have.
B. If it is not signed by the employee, consider the feasibility of having the employee
sign an arbitration agreement before termination.
3. Review personnel performance reviews or disciplinary action plans and/or
A. Check to make certain there is documentation supporting your decision to
terminate the employee.
B. Check for written documentation supporting the termination decision.
4. Review confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements.
A. Check to make certain the employee has signed such agreements.
B. If such agreements are not signed, consider the feasibility of having the
employee sign an agreement before the termination.
5. Obtain and review time records.
A. With respect to the termination of an employee who bills professional services to
Company clients, make certain to obtain all the employee’s time records or billing sheets
before providing notice of termination
B. Consider conditioning any separation payment on submission of true and
complete time records.
6. Plan how to prohibit employee access to Company property and equipment.
A. Voice mail.
B. Computers (stand alone and/or network computers).
C. Any online programs or service web sites that require passwords.
D. Other company property, including:
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(i) Company cellular phones,
(iii) Laptop computers,
(iv) Business cards,
(v) Credit cards,
(vi). Telephone cards.
E. Prohibit access to the office buildings and suites.
(i) Obtain all keys or cards providing the employee with after-hours access
to buildings and suites.
(ii) Advise Building Security that the employee is no longer authorized to
access the office buildings or your office suites.
(iii) If necessary, provide Building Security with a photograph of the
7. Organize the employee’s personnel file.
A. Make certain the employee’s personnel file is complete.
B. Make sure that it includes all written documentation supporting the termination
C. If poor attendance was one of the grounds for termination, make certain to
preserve all attendance-related documents in the employee’s personnel file.
8. Provide notice of continued group medical insurance coverage.
A. If you regularly employ 20 or more employees, provide the employee with a
COBRA notice; i.e., notice of his or her right to continue group health insurance
coverage at his or her expense.
B. This notice must be provided by the employer to the Plan Administrator within 30
days after the effective date of the termination. The Plan Administrator, in turn, has 14
days after receipt of notice from the employer to notify the employee of his or her federal
9. Calculate wages, accrued vacation and other paid benefits due through the last
date of employment.
A. An employee’s wages and other accrued employee benefits (such as accrued
vacation pay) should be paid to the employee immediately upon receipt of notice of
B. Calculate separation pay, if any.
C. Cancel any electronic funds transfer authorization for payroll payments made to
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D. Consider your response to a possible request by the employee for a reference.
(i) Obtain a signed release from the employee that authorizes the reference
before giving it.
(ii) Provide only relevant and factually accurate information.
1. Consider having another management employee present during the termination meeting
to act as a witness to the events.
2. Plan what to say and what not to say.
3. Your comments should be kept brief.
4. Listen to what the employee has to say.
A. Try not to engage in a discussion as to the reasons for termination.
B. After listening to what the employee has to say, consider these possible
(i) “While we appreciate your comments, we have made our decision.”
(ii) “We do not think a discussion of the reasons for your termination would
be productive at this time.”
5. Consider offering the employee the option to resign.
1. Consider utilizing an exit interview.
2. Consider having the employee complete an Exit Interview form after the termination
meeting with the assistance of another management level employee.
3. Consider the employee’s personal effects prior to his or her departure from the office
building and review them before the employee leaves the building.
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