Notifying Other Staff of Employee that's Terminating

Does anyone have suggestions on how to notify other staff when an employee terminates under less than ideal circumstances? We recently provided Preventing Violence in the Workplace training to all of our staff, and addressed the issues of potential violence by former employees. The question was asked "If an employee terminates in a situation that is less than ideal, and could be violent - is the employer obligated to notify all of the staff that the terminated employee should not be on the premises, and if seen should be reported immediately?" Our legal advisors say to handle notification on a case-by-case basis, and those others that we have asked are in agreement with the legal advisor. Any thoughts?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I think the case-by-case suggestion makes sense, altho it does nothing for how you should actually proceed. I'm also assuming you have no current policy that prohibits former employees from being in your bldg/work areas. My experience says that it is not appropriate to "announce" to a large number of staff that John Doe involuntarily left the org and should not be permitted to return........ I think the risk of officially disparaging this person and thereby inferring a negative rehire possiblity puts you at greater risk for slander, intentional tort and who knows what other issues. If you have a security staff or someone that monitors employee entrances, etc., it would be appropriate to inform them. This assumes you do not have a public bldg where limiting access is a problem. I believe the notification s/b given to mgt team members and they would then become your observers. Expecting employees to "report" that a former co-worker, friend, neighbor or relative is in the bldg is just not reliable, especially when this concern over violence is more speculation than anything else. If you share more than casual concern about the potential for violence, then you might expand this observer group, but I'd still be careful about "shouting it from the rooftops".
  • Case-by-case is certainly the best way to go. There are times in which you should notify staff of situations and there are times where it would be inappropriate. It's one of those balancing acts where a little common sense goes a long way.
  • We don't disclose why an associate has left, however we do make a company-wide announcement that the associate is no longer employed here. That way, if the terminated associate comes on premise our associates may be more cautious because they would wonder why he is here. We leave the same message whether they resign or are terminated.
  • The true solution here is to establish a policy that all former employees are to be treated like any other "visitor". Your policy should establish that visitors must register with the receptionist and be accompanied by the person they are here to visit at all times. We do not let "personal" visitor into our offices or shop areas for liability reasons.

    This can be tough to do, I know. My employees are spread out in six buildings along a half mile of public access streets and sidewalks. Former employees are used maintaining friendships and contacts with old co-workers.

    The keys are a) very visible signs at all entrances annoucing where to sign in, b) supervisors who are diligent to remind employees of the policy and enforce it in there area(s), c) communications, communications, communications-make sure all of your employees know of the sign-in requirement, and have the message reinforced regularly.
Sign In or Register to comment.