Many of your employees have access to extensive information about your company, your customers and maybe even other employees on their computers and other devices. If you’re vigilant about information security, you give employees access only to the information they need to do their jobs. You also have likely taken steps to prevent that information from being hacked or shared with anyone who shouldn’t have access to it.
When an employee is terminated, it’s imperative that the information that employee had access to remains protected. This is essential when employees leave the company for any reason. However, when they depart against their wishes, it can happen more suddenly and with far less less goodwill than when an employee moves on to another company.
Advanced notification of IT is essential
Just as human resources and possibly security personnel need to be notified of a pending termination, so, too, does the information technology (IT) department need a heads up. This department needs to have enough time to revoke employee access to information before the termination meeting to preserve necessary records like emails and documents in the employee’s account.
If there are performance or other issues, it’s essential to preserve everything that you might need if the employee challenges the termination. If you believe that an employee knows their termination is imminent, it may be necessarily to gradually revoke some access and preserve data while the employee is still in their position.
In addition to revoking access to data, you may need to make arrangements to take back equipment that the employee has – whether on-site or off-site. If they work at home or other remote locations, they may have a company laptop there.
They may have company-owned phones or other devices as well. Even if it’s old equipment that’s no longer in use, you need to get it – and the data on it – back.
Every situation is different. However, it’s wise to have a process in place and documented for revoking access and preserving data when employees are terminated. An experienced employment law attorney can advise you on this and on specific termination issues to help prevent legal actions arising from employees. These actions also protect your company’s proprietary information and customer data.