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Workplace Termination Strategies for Preventing Violence and Discrimination Lawsuits

Aug 17, 2007
Employee termination is almost always a high stress situation. When an employee is disrupting the workplace to the point that termination is necessary, having predefined termination strategies is critical not only for workplace safety but for protecting your company from discrimination suits as well. Academy Group Inc, the company started by the FBI's famed Chief of Behavioral Science, has developed standards for corporate employee termination strategies. Here you'll find a few key considerations for implementing solid termination strategies.

Termination strategies create a barrier against discrimination suits
Discrimination lawsuits are big business in the United States. In 2004 alone there were 79,432 discrimination lawsuits filed by employees against employers. Well prepared termination strategies establish checks and balances in the termination process that stand up in court. Employers must set solid goals for employees and have a foolproof way of documenting progress compared to goals. There must also be established and well documented standards of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and processes in place to consistently document inappropriate behavior.

Establish a consistent warning system
For an employee, termination is often an unexpected experience that threatens the well-being of his or her lifestyle and family. Events seen as sudden attack on a person's well-being can often cause people to react irrationally and often violently. To reduce violence and possible discrimination issues, workplace termination strategies must include a precise and consistent warning system for issues of poor performance. Additionally, a clearly defined set of inappropriate behaviors puts the responsibility on the employee to decide to act in a way that clearly leads to removal from the company.

Deliver the message in a way that eases fear
Advanced termination strategies also involve proven ways to deliver the termination messages in a strategic way, presenting options that ease the employee's fears early on in the conversation. A terminated employee who leaves the premises feeling as if they are about to lose everything can be a ticking time bomb and a threat to themselves, their families, or former coworkers. Effective termination strategies should include a plan for the termination conversation that leverage any benefits packages offered by your company such as job placement plans, severance packages, options to cash out 401K plans, etc.

Well prepared warning and termination language
Managers and HR employees that interact directly with the employee being terminated should be extensively counseled on the use of appropriate language to be used throughout the warning and termination process. Effective termination strategies include well prepared language that is impartial, factual, and free of interpretative words and phrases such as "I think," "I believe," etc.

Effective corporate termination strategies are essential in today's society where workplace violence and discrimination lawsuits are on the rise. When it comes to termination strategies, it's important to seek out professional strategists rather than learning by costly trial and error.
About the Author
Author is a writer for Academy Group which specializes in behavioral sciences and threat assessment. For more information you can visit www.Academy-Group.com.
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