How to fire an employee

A few thoughts on how to fire an employee that has complete access to the business’ computers and all aspects of the business in general.

Firing someone is obviously a stressful time and a normally sane and rational person can do something unpredictable when put in that situation.

There are probably books written on the subject from an HR point of view but this article is written from a business security point of view and highlights just a few considerations.

1.  Tell them.  Being truthful will help the situation. 
2.  Collect their keys and walk them to the door.
3.  Have everyone change every password on every computer, voice mail, web account, and email account so that they are locked out of every system just in case.
4.  Cancel credit cards if they had access to the credit card numbers so they can’t rack up charges
5.  If it is appropriate, you may want to notify banks, key vendors, and key customers about the situation so they aren’t caught off guard.
6.  If they had a key to the building or office and didn’t return it, you may to change the locks.
7.  If they knew the alarm code then change that as well.

We've read in the news about how fired employees connect back into the network and then wipe out all of the data or sabotage everything they can.  Sure a company can turn around and sue the individual but any legal battle can be lengthy and very expensive.  It is best to avoid this situation in the first place by taking proactive steps to protect the business.  Make sure your company information is properly backed up so if you forget to follow this advice and the person does sabotage, you can at least recover from the event.

It can take a lot of time, money, and customer inconvenience to repair the damage an angry, frustrated, determined, and motivated ex-employee can do.


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