A Habit That Shouldn’t Have Started

Published June 25, 2010

Somehow, somewhere, an employment lawyer suggested that when companies fire someone that should escort them out with a security officer. I think this is a terrible idea. Unless you have reason to believe that an employee is going to go postal (sorry, Post Office — I didn’t start this), there is no reason to make people feel like criminals.

I suggest doing the termination at the end of the day or on a Friday at the end of the week. It should be done with dignity and not done in a way to embarrass or humiliate the employee. I understand that you need to make sure that the employee doesn’t crash the computers or burn up everything in the filing cabinets on the way out the door. I will talk a lot about this subject — firings — in future blogs. Some people use the word “termination” for firing, but to me that sounds like a death or someone being killed … terminated. And I guess it is — a death or termination of sorts. Let me know you experiences with firing, whichever side you were on. Never a fun experience.

Wrongful termination employment trials are emotionally volatile. The reason is that a lot of people, including jurors — no matter who they are or what they do — can relate to the feelings of being fired. Your job makes up a large part of who you are. You spend a lot of time doing your job and it becomes part of you. When a firing occurs it affects the ego and self esteem. Employees sue because they were mad at how they were treated when they were let go. So, don’t have the police escort the employee out the door in front of everyone else. Please. And don’t fire someone via an email.