#Nextchat: Employee Terminations



Employee terminations are a fact of life in the workplace. Whether the termination is due to poor performance or layoffs, there is no easy way to deliver the bad news and it’s one of the most unpleasant responsibilities you will ever have as a manager.

How an employer conducts a termination is key to a positive outcome for the employer, employee and the entire organization.  A poorly handled termination can increase the potential for a lawsuit and negatively impact employee morale and employer brand and reputation.

Unsubstantiated unemployment claims can sometimes follow terminations that were caused by poor performance or willful misconduct, so it’s important for managers to clearly document performance issues to avoid unnecessary payment of benefits and increases in annual state premiums. 

The SHRM report Managing Unemployment Compensation Costs and Caseload states that to be successful in the unemployment insurance (UI) process it’s important that employees are properly trained as “many UI claimants are awarded benefits despite employer assertions that the employee failed to perform adequately because the UI hearing officer determined the employer had not provided the employee with adequate training to succeed in the position.”

Untrained managers are at risk of making mistakes in the complicated UI process. In the blog post Top 3 Mistakes Employers Make with the Unemployment Insurance Process, Human Resources Business Partner at Industrial UI Services, Anthony Paradiso, says that “Not everyone can predict the future success of their employees. At some point, somewhere along the line, mistakes will be made and termination could be necessary. Thinking that your company will never face a UI claim is a huge mistake.”

Understanding the correct process and progression for discipline and termination is vital for successful outcomes for termination and unemployment insurance issues. 

Please join @shrmnextchat on January 17 at 3 p.m. ET for #Nextchat with special guests Anthony Paradiso (@allthingzap). We’ll chat about terminations that preserve an employee’s dignity while protecting against unnecessary liability and expense. 


Q1. Clarity and brevity are the key to a termination meeting. How should a manager/HR start a termination meeting?

Q2. What should a manager or HR representative say -- or never say -- during a termination meeting?  What are the DOs and DON'Ts?

Q3. How can a manager and HR help an employee with the shock, surprise and other negative emotions that may occur during a termination meeting?

Q4. It’s important that managers and HR professionals have answers during the termination meeting. What are the most common questions the employees will ask during a termination? 

Q5. As an HR professional, what are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered dealing with unemployment claims?

Q6. What are the most effective ways to prevent unnecessary unemployment claims?

Q7. What factors must HR departments consider to ensure that they have a strong unemployment claim case?

Q8. What advice do you have for other mangers and HR professionals regarding terminations and dealing with unemployment claims?


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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