It’s so difficult to say goodbye - firing right
Churches should follow prudent steps in firing employees. This begins by making sure that the termination must be for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason. Prior disciplinary measures must be consistent with church personnel processes and policies
The first step should be to schedule a meeting that includes the terminated employee, the employee’s supervisor, the church HR director or supervisor’s manager and the church’s legal counsel. (If considered necessary.)
First and foremost, the church should make it a goal to preserve the employee’s dignity. Keeping the meeting as brief as possible contributes to achievement of this goal. A concise explanation to the employee of the reasons for termination should be given along with a carefully documented history of the issues. That is why the performance reviews mentioned in our previous post are so important. Having a documented case history prevents the employee from asserting they were never informed.
KEY: Do not let the employee drag the process into an argument!
If severance pay is offered to the employee, discuss the terms of the severance with the employee. Church property including passwords, office equipment should be collected from the employee by providing the employee with choices of when he or she may pick up personal belongings.
Also, unused benefits, unpaid expense reimbursements, and written permission in regard to references should be addressed.
KEY: In some cases it may be better to deem the termination a resignation, especially in the absence of animosity. It is another way for preserving the employee’s dignity