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Best practices for offboarding employees

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Business Law |

When an employee leaves the company, especially if there is a conflict or tension involved, legal risks may emerge. This is especially true if companies do not take proactive steps to end the employment in the correct way. Offboarding describes the process a company may undertake to close out an employee’s relationship with the company. Including the right processes and steps in offboarding can help Texas employers minimize legal risk while also providing key opportunities for their future growth. 

Here are some ways that a solid offboarding process can help companies minimize legal exposure and strengthen a business overall: 

  • Protecting sensitive information: For most companies, ensuring that proprietary data and access are protected from non-employees is critical. A departing employee can be a risk when it comes to this. As such, an offboarding process should be designed to ensure that information, files and future access to applications are properly handed off. 
  • Mitigating lawsuits: If an employee is disgruntled and considering legal action, an exit interview may bring this perceived wrong to light. Dealing with these potential issues during the offboarding process can potentially prevent them from becoming bigger issues in the future. 
  • Leaving a positive impression: Former employees can be strong advocates for a business when they leave, if they had a good experience and felt valued. On the other hand, employees who feel wronged may lash out in different ways after leaving. A good offboarding process that makes people feel heard and respected can provide an employer with valuable feedback and good word-of-mouth from the former employee in the future. 

Every offboarding will be a bit different, depending on factors such as the reason someone is leaving, the access to data they held and the relationship they had with the company. That said, it can still be highly beneficial for companies to put in place some policies and processes about how offboarding is handled in general, such as having an exit interview or following certain steps to secure applications. Employers who are looking to mitigate legal risks or are already facing potential legal issues could benefit from speaking with an experienced Texas business lawyer to understand their options. 

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