Managing a Meeting with Human Resources

You’ve been called into a meeting with your supervisor and a Human Resources representative. You may not have any foresight as to the reason for the meeting or what will be covered during the meeting. This meeting might be about termination, retirement, a significant change in your job responsibilities, performance concerns or an allegation of harassment.

It is important to try and remain calm and think clearly. The following are five points to keep in mind if you find yourself in such a meeting.

— Listen

Listen closely to what is being said,  and, if appropriate, take notes. If you cannot take notes or don’t feel comfortable doing that during the meeting, do so as soon as possible afterwards while events are still fresh in your mind. Sign and date these notes, including the time the notes were made. Often employees prefer to record these meetings with their cell phone. If the recording is done covertly, it can interfere with the trust relationship later. Employees should consider the implications carefully before recording any closed door meetings.

— Clarify to Avoid Misunderstanding

Be cautious but cooperative in what you say in the meeting. Listen carefully and ask for clarification or specifics if there is something you do not understand. Talk slowly and calmly. Where possible, offer reasonable explanations and provide relevant context. Do not sign anything. If you are presented with a document you are asked to sign, simply advise that you will take that home to allow you to review and consider it. 

— Written

If your employer is proposing a significant change to the terms and conditions of your employment, if you are being terminated, if you feel you are being pressured to retire, or if harassment is alleged, you should ask the employer to set out the details on paper or in an email.

— Access the Legal Consultation Service

After the meeting, or beforehand if you have concerns, contact Forbes-Chilibeck Employment Law for practical and timely advice.