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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Managing the termination of high-risk employees

Many business owners have to fire a volatile employee at some point. While terminations can often result in tears or unpleasant words, fortunately, few rise to the level where the employer faces the risk of violent retaliation.

While rare, all personnel managers and HR directors should be prepared if a termination goes awry and the former employee acts aggressively or gets violent. Below are some ways to manage a tricky termination.

Lay the groundwork first

Your HR team should be ready to revoke security clearances, change passwords and deactivate the employee’s badge and/or keycard. Make sure that you have all termination documents, including their final paycheck, on hand to eliminate their need to return to the facility in the future.

Engage security

All security team members should be made aware that the employee has been terminated so they can prevent attempted entry at a later point. While it might raise the level of acrimony with the employee to have security present in the room when the termination takes place, arrange for security to be waiting nearby if you suspect any violence from the fired employee.

Never allow the terminated employee to get between you and the door

This is a good reason to hold terminations in conference rooms and not the boss’s office, which usually is designed with the desk facing the doorway. In a conference room, you can arrange the furniture to put a desk or table between you and a volatile employee and give you quick access to the exit.

Get your legal ducks in a row

The last thing you want is to face litigation from the terminated employee. Ask your legal counsel to review all termination documents and employee write-ups to make sure that you are on solid legal grounds when terminating employees.

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