5 Important Security Measures to take after firing an Employee

Vikrant Shetty

April 24, 2023

5:09 pm

It’s rarely a pleasant experience to fire a worker. An employee termination typically goes without incident. Although sometimes escalations can happen, and management must ensure that a difficult situation does not cascade into an emergency. It is essential to understand that you must take specific security measures after firing an employee. Here are five critical security measures to take after firing an employee.

1.  Disable MFA (multi-factor authentication)

If MFA has already been established throughout your organization, this should be the first thing you need to do. If you haven’t already, start making MFA implementation a top priority on your list of projects right away. MFA can stop access to all those systems with just one step if you enable it. It is the quickest and most efficient action you can take when terminating an employee.

2.  Change all their passwords related to your Company

Change the employee’s password and deactivate their Office 365 or Active Directory (AD) user account (s). Although doing these two things together enhances the likelihood that at least one is done, even if the other is ignored, it may seem redundant in the heat of employee termination. Eliminate the employee’s access to all groups and memberships in AD and 365, phone system accounts, social media accounts, etc. This extra step lessens the possibility of any data breach or cyberattack to your systems. Accounts and passwords at the application level should be changed. Business-critical programs, such as CRMs and financial applications, should be looked at first. Also remember other frequently overlooked programs like Dropbox, which may be set up to sync files to a personal home computer.

3.  Examine the employee’s eligibility for protected status

If the impacted employee falls within a protected category under federal, state, or local legislation, the employer should consider that. According to the civil rights act of 1964, employees are not allowed to be mistreated based on their race, religion, age, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability, or specific other characteristics. Essentially, every employee, except for white men under the age of 40, belongs to a legally protected group. Naturally, this does not imply that such protected personnel are impervious to employer action. Instead, the employer should be aware of a possible discrimination claim, highlighting the necessity of being able to state the justifiable business reason for disciplining an employee who falls under a protected categorization.

Considering whether a certain group has been negatively affected by a particular termination or series of terminations in the past is also important for employers.

4.  Identify any relevant employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements

Most workers are employed “at will,” which means they are not guaranteed a job for a certain amount of time. They may be fired at any moment for a legitimate reason, a frivolous cause, or no reason at all—so long as it does not include a violation of the law, like discrimination. Many firms restate this employment-at-will status in handbooks or other written policies. Collective bargaining and individual employment agreements are two highly prominent exceptions to the employment status of “at will.” Typically, union contracts only allow for terminations upon the demonstration of “cause” or “misconduct.” Economically motivated measures may be carefully regulated based on seniority and give impacted employees “bumping” privileges. Individual employment agreements may restrict “causeless” terminations and require sizeable severance payments.

Before taking action, employers must always consider whether a union or individual employment agreement exists.

5.  Keep in mind that there is a chance of false allegations of Retaliation

When an employee raises concerns, files a written complaint, or asks for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, a religious conviction, or other similar issues, the employer is frequently irritated. Sometimes, their initial thought is to “get rid of” the problematic employee. Be cautious: Several laws protect workers who “opposed” discrimination or “participated” in a legal procedure. The employee may have a legitimate retaliation claim if fired or subjected to other adverse employment action soon after filing a complaint, even if the underlying claim of discrimination or other employment violation is unfounded.

Vikrant Shetty

April 24, 2023

5:09 pm

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