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    At 1:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, Bob is informed by his boss’s assistant that the boss would like to meet with him at 3:30 that afternoon.
    At 3:30 that afternoon, Bob walks into a conference room and finds his boss sitting at the table with the Vice President of Human Resources.
    Bob sits down at the table and his boss tells him, “This is very unfortunate, but you’re terminated, effective immediately.” His boss then turns the meeting over to the Vice President of Human Resources and walks out of the room.
    What do you do if this happens to you?
    • First a foremost, keep your ears open and your mouth closed.
    • Do not agree with any of the allegations against you.
    • Realize that you are in shock and that anything you say can and will be used against you.
    • After the meeting, call an attorney.
    • An attorney will tell you to write down everything you remember at the meeting. You should do that. It may be very helpful at a later point in time.
    Analysis More and more employees are finding themselves faced with abrupt terminations, whether it’s a result of alleged performance issues, reorganizations, or downsizing. Realize it is a very traumatic experience. You are in shock. If you feel you can’t drive home, ask the employer to provide you with transportation. Talk to friends and others and try to find a qualified employment lawyer.
    Why do I need a lawyer? In many cases, the company will offer severance in return for a release, and sometimes a non-compete. These documents should be reviewed by an attorney to protect your rights. You may also find when you meet with an attorney that you have the potential for a case and the attorney may be able to negotiate a higher severance package for you.