Human Resource Support: High-Risk Terminations and Security

Workplace violence continues to be an issue that affects all industries. 360 Worldwide Security can advise human resources and safety and facilities managers on assessing and managing high-risk terminations.

When planning terminations, organizations should be prepared for a variety of potential employee reactions, including hostility. Violence is typically a process with various “red flags” leading up to an incident, rather than an isolated occurrence. Workplace violence prevention plans should include training for employees and supervisors to enhance their understanding of the true scope and nature of the problem.


A “high-risk termination” refers to the firing of an employee who is likely to pose a risk of harm to themselves or others. The risk can be highest at the time of termination, or in the hours or days surrounding the release. HR and security managers should be attentive to the potential for violence prior to and following any termination.

What steps should be taken to minimize risks during and after high-risk terminations? Each case must be approached individually; however, some steps for reducing risk are universal.

Confidentiality: Do not allow the employee to discover the news of their pending termination.

Planning: Properly arrange the room prior to the employee’s arrival and stage security personnel so that they can offer immediate support. Security may choose to hide their presence or act as a deterrent by maximizing their visibility, depending on situational factors. Immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the employee’s facility and computer access have been revoked.

Control & Stabilize: Ensure the employee travels directly from his or her work area to the room where the termination will occur. Be respectful, but also clear and direct during the process. The employee should not be allowed to return to their workstation or locker room after their termination. Security personnel should ensure that the employee is escorted from the facility in a
non-threatening manner.

Safety: Hypervigilance by security personnel will be necessary for a period following the termination. A security plan should be made based on an assessment of the likelihood that the employee will return to the site or target individuals for reprisal.

When should security become involved?

Security management personnel should be involved in all phases of a high-risk termination and notified of all terminations. Security personnel should be made aware of any instances that lead others to believe that an employee poses a risk of violence or any other actions that may harm employees, customers, the company’s reputation, or financial standing.


Training for HR and security staff that covers techniques for addressing high-risk firings or disciplinary meetings can be extremely valuable. Topics covered should include de-escalation techniques, security standby tactics, room staging, and options for dealing with violent persons.

Security Support

360 offers human resources and security managers the ability to outsource professional security personnel on an as-needed basis for a number of tasks. We have supported and trained HR managers and security teams with high-risk terminations at many diverse locations, including offices, plants, and airports.

We will design a protection plan based on your needs, providing you with customized coverage. From providing an assessment to an on-site security specialist or administering security management procedures, we can help you to mitigate the risk of workplace violence at your place of business.

Because we offer scalable solutions, we can provide you with additional security during or after a termination on an as-needed basis to offer increased protection and further peace of mind. 


To learn more about our High-Risk Terminations Services, contact us today.

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