Terminations and Separation & Release Document
- On 20 May 2018
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
A termination should never be a surprise. Although your employees are your most valuable assets, at times you may need to sever the employment relationship. By coaching and counseling your employees through progressive discipline; if the unacceptable behavior continues, a termination is the appropriate action to take. The separation should always be done professionally and with respect.
What is a separation & release document? A separation & release is a legal document; an agreement between you and your employee that covers the terms of the separation. It typically comes with liability protections for the employer, and a monetary severance package for the employee. It releases the employer from any liability and allows the separated employee to transition with some monetary benefits.
Avoid lawsuits by offering a separation and release document at time of termination. When signing this document, the employee agrees to waive his or her rights to sue and bring civil claims to court against their employer in exchange for a specific settlement or benefit. There are a few important issues that you should keep in mind when signing and preparing these documents, which is where your employment attorney or an experienced HR Consultant comes in. Assistance from your legal team can help you make sure that the document is correctly drafted.
Use a base negotiation in exchange for a signed separation & release. While you want the best for your employees, you also want to protect yourself from future liabilities and lawsuits. Negotiate all points with your employees in order to come to an agreement where both parties are satisfied with the terms and conditions.
Employees may want to negotiate this “settlement” prior to signing the separation & release document. Some negotiation points may include for example, one week’s pay for every year of service; continuation of health benefit coverage or other benefits for your employees. Always have your legal representative review the final document prior to signatures. We also recommend that you have a witness, such as your Office Manager or HR Manager present during the termination meeting.