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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,448

    Default "Former Employee" Policy/Procedure?

    Former employees - and especially employees who have been involuntarily separated, whether fired or laid off - rarely have a legitimate reason for returning to the facility and for obvious reasons should always be treated with a degree of caution.

    As a rule, proper separation procedures will eliminate any reason for the employee to return (exit interview conducted, final check issued at that time or arrangements for mailing or direct deposit, keys/ID/company property recovered, personal belongings taken with them, etc.). It should also be made clear to the employee that, "as a matter of company policy", they are not to return to the facility without a prior appointment, and provided with an alternate means of communication if they have questions.

    As noted, there might be exceptions to the "no-return" rule. These would be by appointment only, and HR would be required to notify security regarding the time, etc. Even so, this would be an occasion for heightened caution (escort, standby, etc.).

    If these separation procedures are followed, there will be no "good" reason that an employee would return to the facility unexpectedly. Of course, he might just be "wanting to say hi to my buds", "meeting a former coworker for lunch", "returning a wrench I'd borrowed from Charlie", etc. but it should already have been made clear to him that such things would have to be done off company property or else he would need an appointment. So the question remains - WHY IS HE HERE?

    IMHO, any violation of the "no-return" policy should be regarded as a potential threat and not treated casually, even if the employee's demeanor doesn't seem threatening, or they'll "smile" their way right past you and on into the executive suite. However much we might think "oh, John wouldn't hurt a fly...why, Jane's a church lady!...", it's just that kind of refusal to believe that people we've known for years might go postal that gets our you-know-what in the wringer.

    I know that it runs strongly contrary to our nature to be wary of people we've known - especially people who we've liked, who have never shown the slightest inclination to be violent, "respectable" people, etc. I also know that we have come to realize that there is NO SUCH THING AS A "WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PROFILE" like the kind that you will see published in security books and articles in the past (male, loner, etc.). These things are junk science, so if you ever learned a "violence profile", forget it. It's just a pleasant fiction. ANYONE, sufficiently provoked, can act in "atypical" ways and statistic-based profiles are of little more than academic interest when the question is, what are THIS person's intentions?

    There ARE behavioral warning signs, however, and the unexpected appearance of a former employee in violation of instructions to the contrary IS a behavioral warning sign. In 10 seconds your mind will think up 50 excuses for this individual, whom you already have filed in the "FRIEND" cubbyhole of your brain's "friend-unknown-foe" recognition system. As much effort as it takes, this person should be refiled in the "UNKNOWN" cubbyhole due to the change in the situation, and treated as such no matter how uncomfortable or "unnatural" it might seem to treat them this way.

    It is a critical skill for people in protective services to learn how to deal with situations objectively (based on the actual situation that's going down) rather than subjectively (based on our "personal feelings", prejudgments, etc. about the situation). It's also the hardest discipline you'll ever master, but in the long run, Grasshopper, you will find that "hard is soft, and soft is hard".
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-23-2010 at 08:37 PM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montreal borough of Verdun, Quebec, Canada
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    Default

    As usual in hotels it's different. You can't stop or even know that an ex employee is going to attend his cousin's wedding. Fortunately in my case I can not remember ever having a problem with this.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    354

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HotelSecurity View Post
    As usual in hotels it's different. You can't stop or even know that an ex employee is going to attend his cousin's wedding. Fortunately in my case I can not remember ever having a problem with this.
    That sounds like an extenuating circumstance, but if you really felt like it's an issue have some language written into your own separation procedures that address it specifically. That way, you have a policy on the situation before it occurs. Perhaps implement a sunset clause of when the person can attend functions at the hotel or be required to give management notice if they were invited to a function hosted at your facility.

    The only thing I'd like to add is retrievel of company property not in the persons possession is best done (in my opinion) by a 3rd party.

    Many times the person is clueless that he/she is heading into a meeting where they will be terminated, so they don't always have all the company property that needs returned.

    A 3rd party vendor (often a security company or PI) can retrieve the property, do an inventory and return the property back to the business without the fired employee having to return to the office or engage in any other awkward sitautions like dropping it off at a co-workers residence...it's not good for either pary.

    Laptops, printers, company manuals, and most importantly - company vehicles should be collected and inventoried as quickly as possible. Company vehicles should be photographed for damage and then picked up by fleet management.

    I actually do provide this exact service to a pharmaceutical company. Their sales reps have storage units where they house incredible amounts of free samples of medications and other promotional items. I inventory the products and then ship them back to the company, along with making arrangements for the company vehicles.

    Something else that seems to becoming more popular is conducting surveillance on a terminated employee. Typically, it's usually when they have made some sort of threat or have a history of violence, but I commonly work these types of cases. A list of potential targets (former supervisors, company property, co-workers) is provided and we conduct surveillance on the terminated employee to make sure he/she isn't stalking the locations or engaging in other suspicious activities like purchasing rifles, handguns, ect.

  4. #4

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    Our operation includes a large retail store, and fired employees make a point to drop by the store in order to do things they weren't allowed to do as employees (use certain entrances and exits, talk on a cellphone, eat and drink, and so on).

    Also, the retail and pro services side of the house likes to hire people "in the business" so that they understand the customers better. After they leave, volunterily or otherwise, they are still "in the business", and still shop at our place, as we are one of the largest distributors and retailers of professional grade equipment on the planet. So we have lots of former employees at our retail location all the time (and naturally they get better treatment from former collegues than some customers do).

    I'm waiting for a fired employee to come back and go postal, and for them to figure out if they should bar former employees.

    We are a multi-billion dollar corporation whose security department falls under the maintainance department, and the director of security got his job by being really good at the air conditioning upgrade project.

    Luckily for all involved, he's a real smart cookie (as evinced by the fact that he asks me lots of questions about video surveillance all the time!).
    The CCTV Blog.

    "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

    -SecTrainer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Posts
    8

    Default As.ttbb

    Execpro_Seq. is right. The best thing to do is have a written policy to include a barring action off premises in the event of an employment separation. All terminations should be conducted in one area as well, with Surveillance watching, and in a location with an exit that leads directly outside. Personal property can be mailed out. CameraMan, you mention that sometimes it takes someone going postal before procedures to prevent workplace violence are adopted. Too often that is the case. One of you mentioned that there is not a typical profile, and I agree with that also. Everyone has a limit, and when you are talking about Workplace Violence, especially domestic in nature, predictions cannot accurately be made.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    MA
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    1,575

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    Great post sec trainer, I just terminated one of my staff the other day and followed all the steps you laid out in your post. Seeing how my account is a roller rink its pretty easy for him to come back as a paying customer if the management of the rink (including myself) don't have an issue with it.
    Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zm88 View Post
    Great post sec trainer, I just terminated one of my staff the other day and followed all the steps you laid out in your post. Seeing how my account is a roller rink its pretty easy for him to come back as a paying customer if the management of the rink (including myself) don't have an issue with it.
    You say "...IF" you don't have an issue with the former employee returning as a paying customer, but you don't say whether you do have an issue or not. I can understand that this is the sort of situation where the "no-return" practice runs into difficulties. Another example would be if you were running the only grocery store in town or something like that. You couldn't (usually) reasonably deny someone the ability to buy food.

    Unless the employee was separated under conditions that justify the "no-return" rule (for instance, if he made threats, etc.), it might be regarded as unreasonable to keep him from coming back as a customer. Perhaps an alternative would be for your current staff to observe special precautions while he's on-site. For instance, if he's privy to information that would make it easier for him to steal money or property, etc., you might simply want your staff to pay more attention to his movements without being too obvious about it. And, of course, you have to let all employees know that he's no longer permitted in "employee" areas, behind counters, etc.

    I guess you'd call it a modified no-return rule. A little tricky, perhaps, but do-able.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-03-2010 at 03:54 AM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    MA
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    1,575

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    You say "...IF" you don't have an issue with the former employee returning as a paying customer, but you don't say whether you do have an issue or not. I can understand that this is the sort of situation where the "no-return" practice runs into difficulties. Another example would be if you were running the only grocery store in town or something like that. You couldn't (usually) reasonably deny someone the ability to buy food.

    Unless the employee was separated under conditions that justify the "no-return" rule (for instance, if he made threats, etc.), it might be regarded as unreasonable to keep him from coming back as a customer. Perhaps an alternative would be for your current staff to observe special precautions while he's on-site. For instance, if he's privy to information that would make it easier for him to steal money or property, etc., you might simply want your staff to pay more attention to his movements without being too obvious about it. And, of course, you have to let all employees know that he's no longer permitted in "employee" areas, behind counters, etc.

    I guess you'd call it a modified no-return rule. A little tricky, perhaps, but do-able.
    Those who have read my posts on here know my account is not an ideal one. Now with a change of management I'm hopeing thing will get better. I terminated him due to negligence(sp?) And we didn't exactly end on good terms. We're situated next to the police station and I'm not too worried about him returning disgruntled, but my staff are still instructed to treat him like a customer if he comes in and not to make any exceptions since he use to be staff.
    Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Fortunately we have not had any problems with "Let Go" employees. Usually we tell them when they are in the meeting if they are allowed back or not. 90 percent of the time the people leave on their own accord. They are allowed back on property just with the stipulation that they cannot access any employee areas with out being escorted by us. Most of the time they just drop by and say hi to their former coworkers. The few that we don't allow back (IE canned for theft or other things) receive a letter stating that they are not to return to the center. The same letter also goes to the police dept. But like I said I have not had a banned former employee come back to the center yet.
    "This is my mall, It is a place of beauty, of purity, it is a place where lost souls can find a home".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NV
    Posts
    1,465

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    We're pretty fortunate where I'm working: We don't need an "86'd List" - we joke that we need an "85'd List". No entry without a previously scheduled appointment (and entered on the Appointments List); appointments are confirmed with the onsite contact/employee when the visitor arrives at the gate; all vistiors are escorted to-and-from, etc. In other words, it's not open to public access.

    Makes it pretty simple to restrict access of ex-employees (and with a couple of big layoffs in '08, we've had plenty of practice!)
    "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

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