One only has to do a quick internet search on job termination practices to find pages upon pages of advice ranging from legal tips to breaking the bad news. But is there a set procedure that employers follow when it comes to the documentation of a termination? That’s what authors Mike Duncan and Jillian Hill set out to explore in their article “Termination Documentation” from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.
In this study, we examined 11 workplaces to determine how they handle termination documentation, an empirically unexplored area in technical communication and rhetoric. We found that the use of termination documentation is context dependent while following a basic pattern of infraction, investigation, intervention, and termination. Furthermore, the primary audience of the documentation is typically legal and regulatory bodies, not the employee. We also make observations about genre, collaboration, and authorship in these documents.
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