In Part One of this blog, we discussed the essential do’s for executives and professionals navigating the end of an employment relationship. From reviewing your employment documents and consulting an attorney to gathering evidence and negotiating terms of departure, these general guidelines may help you strategically manage this challenging transition.

Now, in Part Two, we’re about to uncover the critical ‘don’ts’ you need to be aware of. These are the potential pitfalls that, if not avoided, could significantly impact your financial, professional reputation, and legal interests. So, let’s dive in and make sure you’re well-prepared to navigate the end of your employment relationship.


Critical Don’ts


1. Don’t burn bridges or act emotionally or unprofessionally

Maintain professionalism at all times, even if the situation is stressful. Avoid venting frustrations or making negative comments about your employer or colleagues. Future opportunities may arise from current connections or connections of those you work with.

2. Don’t refuse to cooperate with reasonable requests

If asked to sign a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) or similar document, comply with reasonable requests while clearly documenting your understanding and any objections. Refusal can escalate the situation and reflect poorly on you. You are still an employee, and you owe your employer a duty of obedience and loyalty, to the extent required by the situation.

3. Don’t sign a Release without knowing the legal ramifications

Before signing any severance agreement or release of claims, consult with an attorney to understand your rights and potential consequences. Signing without understanding can waive your rights to future claims.

4. Don’t take any company information

Avoid taking proprietary or confidential company information, which can lead to serious legal issues. Narrow exceptions may exist for personal data or documents and potential evidence, but always seek legal advice to clarify. Don’t ever take company information to compete with the company or to help in your next job or venture. Assume the company will find out (it will) and that this will cause way more trouble than it’s worth (again, it will).

5. Don’t send a company-wide email

Refrain from sending mass emails to colleagues about your departure. Such actions can be perceived as unprofessional and may damage your reputation.

6. Don’t audio record your termination without permission

Recording conversations without consent may be illegal and can escalate conflicts. Instead, take detailed notes and consult with your attorney if needed.

7. Don’t delete any electronic evidence

Don’t delete any electronic evidence, including emails, messages, documents, etc. The “cover-up” is always worse than the “crime.” There’s a legal issue called spoliation. If you destroy evidence, even before a lawsuit has started, an adverse inference can be made against you.


Following some advisable do’s and avoiding the critical don’ts can help you navigate your termination or resignation more smoothly and protect your professional reputation and legal interests. Remember, each situation is unique, so seeking personalized legal advice is always recommended.



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 the employer’s name, 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]