There are two types of meetings that an employer may have with a departing employee. An employee who is retiring or voluntarily resigning is generally requested to participate in an exit interview. In that meeting, the employer can cover the details of getting keys and company property, explaining any benefits to which the employee may be entitled, and generally facilitating the departure.
In contrast to the exit interview is the termination meeting. This, too, is a type of exit interview, but it occurs in the context of an involuntary termination. Consequently, the dynamics of the meeting tend to be less congenial.
There are at least three fundamental reasons for holding termination meetings. First, employers do not want disgruntled employees remaining on the premises. In too many instances that is a recipe for conflict of various kinds. Second, as in the exit interview, the employer should get keys and company property from the employee and inform the employee about matters such as COBRA continuation health coverage. Finally, in some instances the employer will be able to offer severance pay or some other consideration in exchange for execution of a release by the terminated employee. A well drafted release which the employee knowingly and freely signs may protect the employer from future lawsuits or other claims by the employee.
If the employer is providing severance pay as a matter of company policy and without a release, then severance pay may be paid at the termination meeting. However, if the employee must sign a release, severance pay should not be paid until the release is signed. Employees over 40 years of age generally will have at least 21 days to decide whether to accept the severance and an additional seven days after signing the release to reverse their decision. Consequently, in some instances it may be as much as four weeks before severance is paid. See Last Paycheck (payment) chart for states’ timing requirements.
Alerts you to the penalties associated with key federal laws such as COBRA and discrimination.
Watch the video to learn more.
HR 360 and the HR 360 logo are trademarks or service marks and are the property of their respective owners and should be treated as such. Program terms and conditions, pricing, features and service options are subject to change without notice.
HR 360, Inc., 50 Washington Street, Suite 411, Norwalk, CT 06854 | 800-552-8211