How to Terminate an Employee
Q: I need to terminate an employee. I’m willing to pay severance, but I want to make sure that the employee won’t sue me for even more or bring some other claim against me. Is there some way that I can protect myself?
A: Yes. If you are going to pay an employee severance, even though there’s no policy or employment agreement that requires you to do so, you should normally get a release from the employee – that is, a document that will foreclose the employee from making additional claims against you. If the employee is 40 or over, the release document gets a bit complicated and you’ll have to make sure you have the right kind of form. It’s also a good idea to standardize in advance who get severance, in what amount – otherwise, there is the potential for discrimination claims.
MEA’s goal is to provide current, detailed and useful information to HOTLINE callers, but our responses do not constitute legal advice about what you should or should not do in a particular situation. You should always consult legal counsel, in the context of a confidential attorney-client relationship, before taking any action that could have legal implications for you or your business. If legal services are needed, MEA members are entitled to a discounted fee arrangement with the Powell Trachtman law firm, which serves as MEA’s general counsel. For more information, contact Michael G. Trachtman at email@example.com.