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Are there Better Days than Others to Terminate an Employment Relationship?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2020 | Employment Law |

An employer’s decision to terminate an employee can be one of the most difficult decisions a manager or business owner has to make. Even with the right tone and approach, there is always a concern that the process of terminating an employee could results in litigation, or worse yet, violent retaliation.

While there may not be a perfect strategy to let an employee go, and while it is impossible to eliminate all of the valid feelings that come along with that decision, believe it or not, studies have shown that there may be better days than others inform an employee that it is no longer working out.

Fridays may not be ideal

Previously, it was suggested that making an employment termination decision on a Friday afternoon was best. The idea behind it being that it would give the employee sufficient time to process the news, receive their final paycheck, and take step back. However, it has since been discovered that a Friday termination has a number of downsides. While leaving employment on a Friday gives the employee time to reflect, that reflection tends to manifest in a way that causes the employee to overthink the decision and how they were treated. A Friday termination may also be detrimental to coworkers. For example, if an employee leaves on a Friday, colleagues might not get the full story from their manager until Monday. That may give some employees anxiety, and start rumors about potential layoffs or organizational changes.

Why Wednesdays might be best

According to a site known as, this is why Wednesdays may actually be the best day to make that fateful decision:

  • It gives employees plenty of time to ask follow-up questions about benefits, severance pay and what the employer may tell references.
  • It gives them a meaningful opportunity to begin their job search that same week, due to not having to wait out a long weekend.
  • It gives the employer two full days within the same workweek to inform other employees and to address the rumor mill.

Breaking the news is never easy

There must be an understanding that a decision to terminate an employment relationship necessarily means that you are directly affecting all facets of an employee’s personal life. Telling an employee that he or she no longer has a source of income, no matter the reason, can pose challenges on both sides. Therefore, it is important for employers not only to know the best day to  make the decision, but also to find and consistently use a method for terminating the employment relationship that is both practical from the employer’s perspective, and as painless as possible from the employee’s perspective

Those who have concerns about making these tough decisions and that want to learn more about putting a process in place that best meets the needs of your company or organization are encouraged to contact the knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.