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    Khouzam offers severance-related recommendations in the midst of changing work environments

    As remote work environments and shifting workforces continue, especially in the midst of the pandemic, many companies are finding it necessary to make evolving changes to their employment base, and to consider how they compensate and communicate with employees. This is especially true with terminations and severance packages, as employers strive to treat employees fairly and avoid legal action.

    Employment and labor attorney Joëlle Khouzam assisted with putting together a checklist of recommendations for employers in Columbus CEO’s “severance plans dos and don’ts” article. She points out that, unlike some states, Ohio law does not require severance packages for termination. However, companies that hire across state and country borders will want to ensure they know and understand their jurisdiction’s requirements.

    Also, Khouzam addresses the challenges associated with terminating employees using virtual communication methods. Many of the meetings related to termination, as well as the details of severance, are now being conducted using remote platforms. Joëlle states that “[n]ot only do employers have to think about the challenges of potentially terminating someone via Zoom, but the employer must also consider in advance how to handle many details that are normally addressed during a face-to-face exit interview[.] That would include things like collecting company keys, fobs or scan cards; getting computers or company tools and uniforms back; getting all intellectual property or confidential information back; and settling up the terms of any loans or advances the employee may have.”