High-Risk Terminations – Are You Prepared?


April 10, 2021

woman carrying box of stuff Termination of an employee or contractor can sometimes create an emotionally charged situation. In today’s pandemic world, many terminations are taking place virtually, producing additional concerns.

Often, we find companies do not have a process in place for dealing with terminations. The following points should be considered:

  • Advise stakeholders, security, and human resources 48 hours prior to any termination
  • If you are unionized, the union representative on duty should be briefed just before the meeting (be careful not to inform the union too soon as they may advise the individual in advance)
  • The risk regarding the individual in question needs to be evaluated
    • Once the level of risk has been determined, have the required resources necessary to deal with the situation safely
  • Where will the termination take place?
  • When will it take place?
  • Who will be present during the termination?
  • What is the plan if the situation escalates?

desk with laptop and papers When evaluating risk, you should consider the following:

  • Past disputes and challenges with this individual
  • Motivation factoring
  • Aggressive actions and behaviours
  • Anger management issues and a lack of impulse control
  • Substance abuse history or background
  • Mental health challenges
  • Domestic and family issues
  • Does not like your brand
  • Physical or verbal threats
  • History of discipline or trespass notification
  • Strong sense of right and wrong
  • Need for justice or to avenge a wrong
  • Activists – part of a movement – radicalized thinking
  • Political views
  • Ability to act and carry out threats

Virtual terminations and working from home:

  • People’s homes are now their workplace – check-in procedures
  • How will you protect people in their homes vs. the office – security measures
  • What if the individual threatens to come to the worksite – how will the site be alerted and managed?
  • What security awareness training should employees have?
  • How will the situation be de-escalated - remotely or in person?

You might require third-party support:

  • Social media and online intelligence gathering
  • Surveillance – monitoring whereabouts and movements
  • Protection personnel
  • Confrontation management and effective communication
  • Threat risk assessments - home, office, route/destination
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