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How To Fire an Employee | Employment Law

How To Fire an Employee

You’ve decided that firing an employee is in the company’s best interest. You’ve checked the company’s documentation and now everything is in order. So, you are almost ready to have the discussion. 

The Firing Conversations 

It’s not easy to let someone go, but be prepared to make the process go as well as possible. Before you call the employee in, here are some steps you need to take: 

  • Have a letter that tells the employee she is being let go and what actions she needs regarding carryover benefits, like COBRA insurance or 401K 
  • Have a checklist of all the company property: keys, cell phones, computers, etc., that you need to get back from the employee 
  • Have the employee’s last paycheck. 

Some states like California require the employee to be paid in full when fired. While others, like Virginia, only require that the last paycheck be given in the ordinary payroll cycle. 

Even if your state allows later payment, when possible, pay the employee and give her that final check in the meeting. 

  • Schedule an accompanying witness for the meeting.  
  • Schedule the IT department. The IT department should be changing the employee’s passwords and locking her out of sensitive systems while you meet with the employee. 
  • Schedule a locksmith. Arrange to have the locks or security codes changed at the close of business so you don’t interrupt the workday, but ensure that the employee can’t cause mischief that evening. 

Once you have everything prepared, it’s time for the discussion with your soon-to-be former employee.