Terminations of Employment

Emory recognizes two types of terminations: voluntary and involuntary. While both mean that an employee is leaving the university, the circumstances for which the employee departs are different. Department management has the authority, responsibility and accountability for all terminations occurring within their departments. 

Involuntary Termination

An involuntary termination is termination for cause as determined by the employer.

Human Resources must be consulted before any involuntary termination occurs to ensure appropriate process and documentation. Please contact your Employee Relations representative.

A termination should be verbally communicated to the employee whenever possible and a formal letter of termination provided. This letter should indicate the effective date of termination, the reason based on the facts and information regarding final pay.

Common reasons for involuntary terminations include but are not limited to:

  • absences or tardiness
  • job abandonment
  • reduction in force (reorganization)
  • misconduct
  • policy violation
  • refused transfer
  • falsification of records
  • reduction in force (eliminated job)
  • resignation in lieu of dismissal
  • inability
  • reduction in force (lack of funding)
  • unsatisfactory performance
  • insubordination

Employees terminated for unsatisfactory performance, attendance or behavior are not eligible for rehire at Emory University, Emory Healthcare or Emory Affiliates. Emory reserves the right to designate other terminated employees as ineligible for rehire depending upon the circumstances.

Related Policies

For more information, refer to the following policies:

Voluntary Termination

The most common type of voluntary termination is resignation. To resign in good standing, an employee is expected to give at least two-weeks notice in writing. In certain key positions, additional notice may be expected.

Other types of voluntary terminations include:

  • end of a temporary assignment
  • unable to return from leave (other than FMLA)
  • unable to return from FMLA
  • worker's compensation settlement
  • relocation
  • organizational transfer
  • death

Processing Terminations

To process a termination, refer to the HR Web Manual: Entering Terminations.

Online checkout

HR has also developed standard operating procedures and a required online checkout process. The online checkout is required for all exiting employees except for students, medical residents and unpaid faculty members.


Separation Notices

Employees leaving Emory will be mailed a separation notice to their home address. If applicable, the employee should take this notice to the Georgia Department of Labor to apply for unemployment benefits.

Vacation Leave Payout Policies

Resources for Exiting Employees

The following resources may help an employee who is leaving the university:

Exit Interview Survey

Emory University seeks formal feedback from separating employees through the exit interview process. As part of this process, we ask employees to complete a brief exit survey. The data will be compiled and shared with leadership to identify opportunities for improvement.

Go to the Exit Survey