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Separation From Employment

Terminating an employee or being terminated from employment is difficult for both parties. The employer should take efforts to protect against claims of wrongful termination and an employee must consider the stress of being out of work for an extended period of time without income, then balance that against releasing claims for insufficient severance pay.

Mr. Kovacs has been consulting employers and employees regarding termination issues for over 30 years.

An employer best protects itself by making a termination decision based on a review of a number of factors. If the employee is being terminated for cause, it is important to have backup documentation to support the decision, such as:

  • Written warnings
  • Written evaluations
  • Confirmation of policy violations by the employee

Even if the employee is being terminated because of lack of work or consolidation of job functions, it is important that the selection of the terminated employee in comparison to the employees being retained is justified. As such, if the employer, for example, has three employees performing the same job functions and the decision is to terminate the 60-year-old while retaining two younger employees in their 40s, the employer should be prepared to back up the decision as to why the older worker was selected for termination.

Before making a decision to terminate, it may be important to obtain sound advice from an experienced attorney. An employer may want to consider providing the terminated employee a severance package in exchange for which the employee is required to sign a Release of Claims.

Options For The Terminated Employee

On the other side of the coin, the terminated employee may want to consult with counsel to determine what, if any, of his or her employment rights may have been violated by the termination. For example, if the employee just requested Family Medical Leave or reported to the supervisor what he or she considers to be unlawful activity on the part of the employer, and those actions are followed up with the termination, the employee may have been illegally selected for termination and should consider consulting with an attorney. This is particularly important if the employer has provided the employee with a Severance Agreement, as noted above. The terminated employee should seek sound counseling to determine whether or not he or she is waiving significant rights, and if so, whether the consideration for waving those rights is sufficient.

Contact Attorney Kevin Kovacs

Call the employment litigation Law Offices of Kevin Kovacs, Esq., in Somerville, New Jersey, at 908-336-0311, or contact the office online to schedule a consultation.