Actions After Firing an Employee

Terminating an employee is almost inevitable. It happens—someone’s not a good fit, they’re not as qualified as they seemed, or their performance just isn’t what it should be. Aside from assuaging morale and checking in with your remaining employees, there are a few other steps you need to take after you let someone go. Here are the security matters you need to handle when an employee is fired from your team.

Send a Letter of Obligation

Dispatch a letter to the former employee to let him know of any continuing obligations per the employment contract they signed. They might still owe you some work, they might have been let in on some confidential information, or they might have signed a non-compete agreement.

Have the Keys Returned

Any keys the employee had that accessed the building should be returned. This includes electronic cards. If the keys are not returned, the locks should be changed as soon as possible. Even if you completely trust the former employee, you never know when those keys might get misplaced or stolen. As long as keys are out there, your company is vulnerable. If he had any security alarm codes for the building, change those as well.

Cancel the Credit Card

If the employee had a company credit card, it should be returned. And whether or not it is, you should call the credit card company and cancel the card. Just to be safe.

Change the Internet Passwords

If the employee knew passwords to other websites that the company used—think Facebook, the bank—those passwords and administrative rights should be changed.

Cancel the Remote Access

Company laptops, phones, or tablets should be returned. If they had access to your network, your IT department or Internet provider should remove his access codes.

Reassign Emails

Set up an auto-response email from the former employee’s account, letting people know that he no longer works for the company and redirect them to another employee if they still need to contact the company. The same should be done for his voicemail greeting. Emails and voicemails can either be forwarded automatically or someone can routinely check the account to make sure no important communications are slipping through the cracks.

Remove from Payroll

After the final pay period that you’re contractually obligated to pay your employee, remove him from payroll and your benefits package. Make sure you roll over any retirement savings plan and handle any special provisions for COBRA or his 401(k).

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