HR Support on Outplacement

Editor's Note: Consider outplacement to reduce the pressure and tension of terminations.

Michael C. JacobsonOverview: Outplacement is a service offered by employers that wish to assist outgoing employees with finding a new position or helping to smoothen the transition from a current job to the next stage in an employee's professional development. While there are no federal or state laws that require employers to provide outplacement services to outgoing employees, employers may benefit from providing this type of service in several ways, including maintenance of the employer's reputation in the community, and increasing the retention of valuable employees by relocating them within the company.

Employers that provide outplacement services can lessen the pressure on HR, which is often tasked with employee terminations. By providing outplacement services and counseling to outgoing employees, HR can help protect the employer's reputation and minimize the ill will of an outgoing employee. Additionally, considering that outplacement services can be quite valuable, HR may even offer outplacement services as a type of consideration to satisfy a termination agreement. This type of agreement may restrict the outgoing employee's ability to file a post-employment wrongful termination suit.

Trends: Some employers are so sincere in their outplacement efforts that they even offer outgoing employees office space, office resources, counseling and the assistance of current employees in helping outgoing employees find new employment. Employers who provide these types of services can distinguish themselves from other employers who provide less-involved outplacement services and this hands-on, sincere approach can go a long way toward discouraging post-employment litigation.

Author: Michael Jacobson, JD, Legal Editor

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HR guidance on the benefits of outplacement services as a means to lessen the pressure on HR and discourage outgoing employees from pursuing post-employment litigation.