Handle the Death of an Employee

Key Points

  • The death of an employee can cause emotional strain on co-workers and the workplace as a whole. Consider preparing an emergency plan that details the steps to follow in the case of an employee's death, whether at work or off-site.
  • Be prepared to respond appropriately, professionally and with empathy. The employee designated to communicate with the employee's family and co-workers should be prepared with a list of basic points to cover and procedures to follow.
  • If the death occurred at work, file a report with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state agency, as applicable.
  • Determine what insurance payments and final wages are due to the family of the deceased employee and issue the payments as quickly as possible.

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