Whether you’re considering quitting or facing termination, navigating the end of an employment relationship can be a complex and emotionally charged process. As an executive or professional, you have a lot to lose, so it’s crucial to approach this transition strategically to protect your career and legal interests. This two-part blog outlines key do’s and don’ts to help you manage this challenging time effectively.


Essential Do’s


1. Review all employment documents signed 

Carefully read through your employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and any other documents you’ve signed. This will help you understand your obligations and rights, and prepare you for any legal discussions.

2. Consult an attorney

Seeking legal advice is crucial. If you think a good attorney is expensive, wait until you see how much a bad attorney or no attorney costs you.

3. Gather potential evidence

If you suspect that litigation might be necessary, start collecting relevant documents, emails, and other pieces of evidence. This includes any communication demonstrating unfair treatment, discrimination, or breach of contract. This has to be done very carefully, because you are under a competing obligation not to take company documents that could be considered trade secrets, proprietary business information, private, or otherwise subject to legal protection. See No. 2.

4. Ask for accommodation if needed

If your work conditions impact your health or performance and you have a medical issue or disability, consider requesting reasonable accommodations from your employer. Make sure to document these requests and any responses you receive. Asking after you are fired is too late. Even asking after you get a PIP is not ideal.

5. File complaints, if any

If you have experienced harassment, discrimination, or any other unlawful behavior, consider filing a formal complaint with your HR department or the appropriate legal entity. Keep a record of your complaint and any follow-up actions. See. No. 2.

6. Document everything

Maintain a detailed log of all relevant interactions with your employer, including meetings, emails, and verbal communications. This documentation can be invaluable if disputes arise later.

7. Review your personnel file

Request a copy of your personnel file from HR. Reviewing its contents will help you understand how your performance and conduct have been documented and prepare you for any discussions or negotiations. You also may have forgotten what you signed, or you never reviewed it carefully in the first place. This is very common.

8. Seek clarifications for any PIPs or warnings

If you are placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) or receive warnings, ask for specific details and clarifications. Understanding the exact issues and expectations can help you address them effectively. Calling out management on a B.S. PIP could help you in later negotiations or litigation.

9. Negotiate if possible

Before making any final decisions, attempt to negotiate terms of departure, such as severance packages, benefits continuation, and references. You can even negotiate how your termination will be characterized. This can help mitigate the impact of leaving the company. See. No. 2.

10. Consider another position or transfer within the company

If you enjoy working for the company but face issues in your current role or supervisor, explore opportunities for transfers or other positions that may better suit your skills and career goals. Consider doing this before things get so bad that neither party wants to associate with the another.

11. Act quickly

Timely action is crucial. Delays can complicate negotiations and limit your options. Begin addressing these matters as soon as you anticipate a potential exit.

Stay tuned for Part Two, where we’ll cover the critical don’ts to keep in mind when navigating the end of your employment relationship.



This blog is a cursory overview and is not legal advice. For personalized legal assistance, schedule an initial consultation with Adam Whitney. It’s best to email me to set up a consultation. Please include your contact information and the name of the employer and any other parties involved.

Adam P. Whitney, Esq.
Law Office of Adam P. Whitney
265 Franklin Street, Suite 1702
Boston, MA 02110
Ph. 617.338.7000
[email protected]