A termination of employment letter is a document that details events leading up to and including the employee’s last day of employment. It can also include the arrangements of the termination itself, like the details of a severance package.
Why should I use a termination of employment letter?
Employers use a termination of employment letter to provide a summary of all events leading up to termination and to document any arrangements made upon termination. It’s a record both for the employer and employee and, when signed and dated by both, can be used to defend a company legally. It’s also useful for employees who are laid off, as they can use it to claim unemployment insurance.
Do I have provide a termination of employment letter?
It depends on your state. While there’s no Federal law requiring an employer to provide a termination of employment letter, some states have additional rules on the matter. Check your state’s Department of Labor website to see what your local requirements are.
What goes into a termination of employment letter?
A termination of employment letter typically contains:
- The basics: Who is terminated from what company and who is managing the termination process on the company’s behalf.
- The reason the employee is being terminated: Whether you fired them for failing to meet expectations or laid them off as a cost-cutting measure, write that in the letter.
- What led up to the termination: Document why that employee was terminated, whether they were fired after multiple warnings laid off due to a financial decision.
- The termination arrangements:
- Items like:
- Company property that was returned by the terminated employee.
- Pay including severance (if any), accrued vacation, and the final paycheck.
- Benefits including any continued as part of a severance package, COBRA options, and 401(k) or pension plan options.
- Whether a separation agreement was offered and accepted/declined.
- Items like:
- Dated signature: Both the terminated employee and the company’s representative should sign and date the termination of employment letter.
If it’s time to terminate an employee, it’s best to work with a lawyer or local HR expert to draft a letter that is written specifically with your circumstances and legally protects you.