Why Help Your Ex-Employee Find Work?

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Article2024 | 07 | 02

Why Help Your Ex-Employee Find Work?

a faded image of a business handshake between two people; a man and a woman. The photo is shot from a low angle, focusing on the hands of the people shaking hands suggesting a successful business meeting.

Terminating an employee is rarely an easy process, especially when the relationship has deteriorated to the point where neither party has anything positive to say about the other. Given such circumstances, the idea of helping a former employee find new work may seem counterintuitive, if not outright unappealing. However, offering assistance in this area can significantly benefit employers by reducing potential legal liabilities.

Mitigating Liability through Reemployment

One of the primary reasons employers should consider assisting a terminated employee in finding new employment is the potential to reduce the financial liability associated with wrongful termination claims. When an employee is terminated without sufficient notice, the employer may be liable for the wages the employee would have earned during the notice period. However, if the employee finds new employment quickly, their new earnings can offset the amount the former employer might owe.

For example, if an employee is terminated and is entitled to three months’ notice but finds a new job within one month, the income from the new job for the remaining two months can reduce the amount the former employer is liable to pay. This principle, known as “mitigation of damages,” can significantly lower the financial burden on the employer.

Practical Steps to Assist Former Employees

Employers can take several practical steps to help former employees transition to new employment:

1. Act as a Reference

Offering to act as a reference, and ideally, a positive one can significantly enhance the former employee’s job prospects. A good reference from a previous employer can be a powerful endorsement, helping the employee secure new employment more quickly.

2. Provide Access to Career Services

Offering access to services that help with resume updating, interview preparation, and job search strategies can equip former employees with the tools they need to find a new job. This investment in their future can pay off by reducing the time they remain unemployed.

3. Forward Relevant Job Postings

Keeping an eye out for job postings that match the former employee’s skills and experience and forwarding these opportunities to them shows a willingness to assist in their job search. This proactive approach can help them find a new position more quickly, again potentially reducing the employer’s liability.

Benefits Beyond Liability Reduction

Beyond mitigating liability, helping a former employee find new work can have other benefits for the employer. It can enhance the company’s reputation, demonstrating a commitment to employee welfare even in difficult circumstances. This can be particularly important in industries where employer reputation plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent.

Moreover, this approach can foster a more positive culture within the company. Current employees who see their employer treating departing colleagues with respect and support are likely to feel more secure and valued. This can enhance morale and loyalty, reducing turnover and fostering a more engaged and productive workforce.

Conclusion

Helping a former employee find new work might seem counterintuitive after a contentious termination, but it can offer significant advantages for employers. By reducing potential legal liabilities, enhancing the company’s reputation, and fostering a positive internal culture, this approach can transform a challenging situation into an opportunity for both parties to move forward more positively.

Employers should consider these benefits and take practical steps to support their former employees in transitioning to new employment. This proactive and compassionate approach can ultimately be a win-win, minimizing financial risks and promoting a healthier, more supportive workplace environment.


DISCLAIMER: This article is presented for informational purposes only. The views expressed are solely the author(s)’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Taylor McCaffrey LLP. While care is taken to ensure accuracy, before relying upon the information in this article you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor-client relationship. Any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

If you would like legal advice, kindly contact the author(s) directly or the firm's Chief Operating Officer at pknapp@tmlawyers.com, or 204.988.0356.



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About the Author
Peter Mueller
Peter Mueller
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