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What You Should Know Before Terminating a Remote Employee

March 22, 2022 | posted by Abacus Payroll

Terminations involving remote employees function much the same as those in a physical worksite. But just like the virtual hiring process has its own nuances and considerations, there are some things to keep in mind when terminating a remote worker.

5 Things To Know Before Firing a Remote Employee:

Know the State Laws

If the employee works in a different state, you’ll need to follow that state’s laws regarding termination procedures, paperwork, and final paychecks. Look these up in the HR Support Center ahead of time. You don’t want to miss any deadlines.

Inform IT

Coordinate with your organization’s information technology professional or team so they are prepared to remotely revoke the employee’s access to company systems and files immediately upon termination.

Clarify Your Termination Process

Have a clear process in place for the employee to return any company-owned computers, monitors, phone systems, etc. and plan to pay for shipping. Go over the process at the termination meeting.

Double Check Deduction Laws

Don’t make deductions from the final paycheck because the employee hasn’t returned company property or has returned things damaged unless you are positive it’s legal in the state where they work and that you’ve complied with any and all related requirements.

Organize Your Notes

As with most terminations, be sure to have documentation of behavior and performance issues, conversations you had, disciplinary actions you took, and warnings to the employee about the consequences if they failed to improve. This documentation may be helpful if the termination is ever challenged.


It is important to be up to date with the laws regarding remote work and termination. This will differ for each state so make sure you are aware of the current policies. Make sure that you are transparent and upfront with the employee you are terminating to provide a smooth transition. Each situation is different so you will need to use your judgement to determine best practices, but you can follows these tips as a baseline.


HR Resources at your Finger Tips

The above content was mostly provided by the certified HR professionals behind the HR Support Center. If you need more guidance on managing your remote or in-person workforce, following are additional related resources available with the HR Support Center subscription:

  • Termination Letter Template
  • Employee Turnover Calculator
  • Worksheet PDF on how to Conduct an Exit Interview
  • HR 101 video on Termination
  • Checklists for Conducting a Smooth Termination Meeting or an Involuntary Termination
  • A How to Guide on Employee Layoff and Termination
  • and more

Ask your Abacus Payroll specialist today for more information on how our affordable HR platform can supplement your existing payroll processing services. Fill out a quote form today and we’ll get back to you shortly.


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About the Author: Abacus Payroll

Abacus Payroll, Inc. is a leading provider of payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether yours is a family-owned small business or a national corporation, we provide payroll, tax and other financial services on time and at an affordable price. Unlike other payroll providers, Abacus Payroll will assign your very own payroll specialist who will understand your payroll needs inside and out. So no more speaking to a different person each time, no more sitting on hold for hours and most importantly no more missed deadlines! Contact us today to see how we can help your business. You can count on us.