In the human resources field, the word "termination" can mean an involuntary or voluntarily end to employment. Many human resources leaders would agree that involuntary terminations are difficult to process; however, employment or performance conditions sometimes warrant termination. Based on the reason an employee gives for resigning, voluntary terminations may or may not be easier to handle. Regardless of the termination circumstances, there are HR forms necessary for ending employment.
Salary Discontinuation Forms
Upon termination of employment, the first topic for some employees is the last paycheck. According to Business.gov, "Employers are not required by federal law to immediately give former employees their final paycheck. Some states, however, may require immediate payment, and have requirements on what should be included in the final paycheck, such as accrued, unused vacation days." Research your state regulations concerning final pay or contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, concerning this issue. If the termination circumstances call for a severance package, consult your company's lawyer for advice on how best to structure a release to accompany the severance payment.
COBRA and Benefits Continuation
Employees terminating voluntarily or involuntarily are entitled to continue their health care coverage. The employer must provide the terminated employee with COBRA paperwork that gives information about monthly premium amounts and the time within which the employee must decide to accept or decline coverage. There may be other termination forms for benefits such as profit-sharing contributions, 401k or 403b retirement funds. Employees do not have to make an immediate decision about retirement and savings funds. Provide the employee with information about transfer, rollover and distribution options for retirement savings or profit-sharing funds.
Exit Interview Form
Some employers conduct exit interviews during the termination process. Employees are not required to participate in exit interviews; however, human resources staff encourage employees to provide feedback about their employment experience. Information from exit interviews assists in determining turnover rates and reasons for turnover. Employees who are involuntarily terminated may refuse to participate, but it doesn't hurt to ask -- all feedback can be valuable. Exit interview forms are usually kept confidential, although HR departments use the data to conduct analyses pertaining to the workplace.
Company Property Inventory Form
Many employees have company property that must be returned upon termination. If you have an initial inventory form listing equipment and supplies issued, use that form to reconcile returned items. If your workplace has high-security measures in place, ensure you have obtained any passcodes, keys, intranet access information and materials, as well as sensitive documents the employee may have in her possession. Permit the employee to clean out her workspace or desk. In cases of involuntary termination, offer to pack and ship the employee's personal belongings.
When executives leave their employment, there may be additional forms necessary for terminating an employment contract. Executive-level employees have access to company information you should retrieve; therefore, another inventory form may be generated for the return of company property. Provide the terminating employee with copies of other pertinent documents, such as non-compete and confidentiality agreements, as well as applicable releases and waivers.
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