The whole world started to feel the depressing effects of global recession when companies started going bankrupt and eventually closing up. Along with this closure is the termination of their employees. Termination of employment happens when an employee end his relationship with the employer or company.

The decision may come from the employer – as with the case of the massive lay-off during recession – or from the part of the employee, otherwise known as resignation or voluntary termination. Another type of termination is called dismissal, wherein the employer "fires" his employee for one or more reason.

Even if the employer has a right to fire his worker, there are only a few reasons that are acceptable under the law. Moreover, there are job termination rights that protect employees from employers who may take advantage of them.

To learn more about employee rights, read about job termination rights FAQs.

What could be the possible reasons for termination?

For voluntary termination, an employee may be terminated for the following reasons:

  • To find a different job/ gain experience

  • Terminal sickness/ death

  • Reached the end of the employment duration indicated in the contract

  • Transfer of residence

  • Reaching the maximum retirement age

  • Employee goes back to studying

On the other hand, an employee may also be terminated involuntarily:

  • Forced resignation (employer try to talk the employee into resigning voluntarily)

  • Repeated violation of company policies

  • Unsatisfactory work performance or ethics

  • To reduce number of employees (e.g. lack of funds)

It depends on the state laws if the employers need to cite the reason for termination. At-will employees don't need a reason to resign because they can leave the company anytime, but employers can terminate them only for legal reasons.

What are the unlawful causes for termination?

Wrongful termination is the term used for termination reasons that are unlawful and the company may get sued for doing such. Termination based on sex, nationality, ethnicity, age, or disability is considered discrimination. A company can also get sued for wrongful termination if an employee who decides to "whistleblow" against them gets fired for it.

What are the benefits awarded to the terminated employees and when can they receive it?

Terminated employees are entitled to receive:

  • Continuing health insurance

  • Back pay and last paycheck

  • Pension funds

  • Severance pay (under certain conditions)

  • Unemployment compensation (except for employees terminated due to misconduct)

The back pay and last paycheck are normally given on the next regular payday after termination or until the employee returns company property.