Any time an employee separation occurs, it is important to review the employee relationship and take a few other steps before letting an employee go. This policy explains the procedures that employees should expect when terminating employment from your organization. It should include the following elements:
A review of employment documents. Examine the employment contract, handbook, code of conduct, statement of faith, or other initial documents provided to the employee to ensure compliance with these documents during the separation process.
Notice provisions. If your organization requires two weeks’ notice before voluntary termination, a court could consider the handbook to be an employment contract. Instead, you could request (not require) two weeks’ notice or ask that employees provide two weeks’ notice to obtain another benefit, such as payment of vacation time (if allowed by law).
The exit interview process, if used.
A requirement that materials you own be returned. Examples include keys, company vehicle, computer equipment, credit card, company phone, etc.
The method of compensating vacation, sick, or other paid time upon termination.
Your organization should deliver a final separation letter to employees at termination. It should include the following types of information:
Employee’s name and title
Notice of separation
The last date of employment
Last paycheck date
A list of benefits to which the employee is entitled, including their expiration dates. Examples include: Health insurance, short- and long-term disability, and the types of paid time off that may be paid out.
Human resources contact information
This is not an exclusive list. You’ll want to work with a local employment law attorney to ensure your letter includes all relevant information as required by applicable law.
*Please note: Some states have very specific requirements for when an employee’s last paycheck must be issued. You will want an employment attorney in your state to confirm the deadline for issuing an employee’s last paycheck.
SAMPLE POLICY: SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT
When an employee ends employment with (name of organization), the procedures listed below should be followed:
Employees who voluntarily separate from this organization are asked to give at least 10 working days’ notice of their intention to terminate employment, excluding any vacation days. Written notice should be given to your manager and the business administrator.
All employees are expected to meet with the business administrator for an exit interview. Employees may be asked to complete an exit interview form, explaining the reasons for separation and their assessment of the employment experience at your organization.
During the exit interview, employees will complete any necessary paperwork. The business administrator will advise employees about their benefits and other issues that relate to separation from this organization.
Employees shall return any materials and equipment owned by this organization. These include the employee handbook and any off-site documents, equipment, or supplies. Upon termination of employment, all access to the computer systems and the building shall end. Vacation time will be paid to an employee separating from employment in accordance with the vacation and sick policy. An employee’s termination date shall be the last day of employment in which the employee was present and working. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, benefits shall cease on the employee’s termination date.
Supervisors [or HR professional] should review the employee relationship, employment contract, handbook, code of conduct, statement of faith, or other initial documents provided to the employee and ensure compliance with these documents during the separation process.
Supervisors [or HR professional] should complete the Separation From Employment checklist.
This organization reserves the right to require any employees who have been terminated or who have advised this organization of their intent to terminate, to immediately cease employment, return any materials and equipment owned by (name of organization), and leave the building.
SAMPLE CHECKLIST: SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT
Termination Effective Date:
[ ] Receive resignation letter from employee or inform employee of termination.
[ ] Verify vacation & sick time remaining (if applicable).
[ ] Notify payroll company or payroll department (whichever applies).
[ ] Determine how to contact individual for future correspondence.
[ ] Final employee time card submitted (if applicable).
[ ] Notify IT or HR (whichever applies) to change passwords, disable accounts, forward emails to the employee’s manager, and remove employee from the website.
[ ] Prepare and give separation letter to employee.
[ ] Prepare and deliver Severance Agreement (if applicable).
[ ] Update employee’s HR file.
[ ] Complete exit interview with employee.
Collect all applicable items from employee:
[ ] Keys or access cards to company vehicle, office, etc.
[ ] Company vehicle
[ ] Company computer equipment
[ ] Miscellaneous office furniture
[ ] Company credit cards
[ ] Company phone
This is a sample handbook policy only. Your organization is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. Accordingly, this document should not be used or adopted by your organization without first being reviewed and approved by a licensed attorney in your area. Brotherhood Mutual assumes no liability in preparation and distribution of this sample document.