When it comes to firing employees, human resource managers play a major role. The managers oversee the legality of any termination while processing documents to legally sever the employee-employer relationship. A human resource manager is rarely the decision maker for the firing, but he manages the process. There are exceptions, however, and the manager may execute the firing.

Firing Decisions

The decision to fire an employee may come from a department head or manager, a CEO or any other leader in a company. Firing happens for a number of reasons, including poor performance, failure to show up for work, poor workplace behavior, illegal conduct or simply violating company policies. If the Human Resource manager makes the actual decision to fire an individual, it is likely within their HR department.

Human Resources and Layoffs

In some instances, an employee is terminated without fault. The employee is let go because the company eliminates that position or it falls short on budget. In this scenario, the employee may be eligible for unemployment benefits. The human resource manager facilitates the layoff as well and oversees the process and paperwork. Layoffs are much different than firings and the employer can still offer positive letters of recommendation and references. Regardless, the human resources manager remains present in the transition process.

Human Resource Mitigation

Mitigation and training are primary human resource manager responsibilities. HR managers train the company employees and educate them about policies regarding sexual harassment, workplace misconduct, etc. In many instances, the human resources manager is responsible for stopping the firing of an individual. Department managers and business leaders within a company must run the decision through HR before firing an individual. They may not have legal grounds and HR will recommend not firing to safeguard the company from legal ramifications.

The Firing Process

The human resource manager may deliver the news to an employee. Typically, the decision maker will deliver the news with a Human Resources manager present. The manager may walk the employee to their desk or locker to collect personal belongings then escort them off the property. HR is working as a mediator to ensure all legalities are follow while being a neutral voice that simply works through the papers, answers questions and prevents any issues from further escalation.

Human Resources for Employees

HR is not just a firing mechanism. The department also exists to advocate for employees while maintaining a safe work place. Employees who are bullied by bosses, sexually harassed or concerned for their safety have the human resources managers as an outlet and layer of protection. The department is general hands-off when it comes to business decisions, including firings unless their is legal cause to prevent a firing from happening.