Guidelines for Termination of At-Will Employees
for Reasons Other Than Cause
To achieve consistency in the application of the procedures for termination of such employees for reasons other than cause, the following template has been developed as a guide to departments in the termination of at-will employees:
- Departmental consultation with the Director of University Human Resources (or her/his designee) and/or the Office of the General Counsel is necessary before informing the employee of termination.
- Issues to consider prior to informing the employee of termination:
- the effective date of termination;
- any concerns for personal safety;
- any concerns for security of data or property;
- the work assigned to be completed before the termination date;
- the place of work during this assignment;
- the equipment needed to complete the assignment;
- the supervisor of the work assignment;
- unemployment benefits;
- the possibility of access to outplacement services and/or other job seeking resources (long-distance calls, travel to national meetings, resume support, etc.).
- Anticipate ways to manage the announcement of the termination: to whom, by whom and the text of the announcement;
- Anticipate ways to manage employment references: who will be designated to receive the references and what will be released under what conditions.
Once these issues have been considered and arranged, the department/immediate supervisor would inform the employee. The department/immediate supervisor and central Human Resources can also discuss whether the Director of University Human Resources (or her/his designee) would be present at the meeting with the employee.
The department may want to consider the following issues together with the employee:
- Announcement of the termination: to whom, by whom and the text of the announcement;
- Employment references: who the references will be; written reference may be viewed by the employee prior to being finalized; who will handle telephone requests for references-telephone references will be consistent with the written letter of reference;
- Employee departure if other employment is obtained;
- Schedule flexibility to allow a search for other employment.
Similar considerations should be used in terminating probationary or temporary employees for reasons other than cause. However, consultation with the Director of University Human Resources (or her/his designee) and/or the Office of the General Counsel is available, but not required.