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LeadingEdition: E-Newsletter for Purdue University Supervisors

The benefit of pre-termination hearings


The decision to terminate an employee is not something that is taken lightly at Purdue. Supervisors are faced periodically with disciplinary issues that can lead to the loss of employment by an employee. Consequently, it is important that our supervisors ask themselves if they have done everything they know to do to help make an employee successful.

Have you provided a clear understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the position? Have you provided adequate training and the resources needed to perform the position? Have you given the employee a fair chance to improve the behavior or performance issues to meet standards? Even if the answer is �yes� to all of those questions, there is one last step that can show a good faith effort on the part of supervisors before a final termination decision is made, and that is to hold a pre-termination hearing.

The purpose of a pre-termination hearing is to give an employee the opportunity to be heard prior to making a final decision to terminate an employee. By meeting with the employee, supervisors are giving the employee a chance to provide any new information that might be cause to reconsider the decision to terminate.

The hearing generally takes place in two meetings. The first meeting is to allow supervisors to provide the evidence that supports a termination. Supervisors should make it clear that the information they have is sufficient to justify termination, but that they want to give the employee an opportunity to provide relevant information that may change the decision.

The second session is generally the following day and provides the employee an opportunity to present his/her side. Supervisors should be very attentive, take notes, and make it obvious that they are giving full consideration to the employee�s comments. Supervisors should not make any decisions at that time, but advise the employee that he/she will be notified of the final decision.

There are instances when a pre-termination hearing might not be appropriate; however, for those situations where supervisors want to be sure they have provided due process, the pre-termination hearing can be very beneficial and might bring facts to the surface that could change the decision.

Contact your area�s employee relations consultant to discuss the specifics of your case and how to utilize a pre-termination hearing most effectively.

- Kathy VanPaemel
Employee Relations

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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors.  It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us.  Thank you.