There are many reasons why one will have to fire an employee. Without a written agreement, employment is at will and can be terminated with or without cause or any notice. If employment is considered at will, a terminated is required by law to end an employment relationship with the details and reasons for termination and specifying any severance package (if applicable).
An employee termination letter must be concise and clear and should include all information about the arrangement. If a contract is involved, the employer should fulfill and/or be aware of all the obligations that they may have under said agreement before terminating an employee. In some instances, early notice may be required and this letter provides that notice while protecting the employer from a future lawsuit.
Termination Letter Tips
This legal document should be written carefully so to follow all local laws and internal policies. Review all records relating to the employee in question to ensure the employment is at-will. Also, make sure that you understand the reasons you’re terminating the individual. Keep copies of all relevant documents. For instance, if you’re firing an employee because of poor work performance, have proof available.
1. Keep language as verifiable as possible when explaining the decision.
2. Keep it short and factual.
3. Ask the employee to sign a copy of the letter acknowledging they received it. If they refuse, have a witness sign that they have witnessed the refusal.
4. Make copies of the letter and give one to the employee at the end of your discussion.
Things You Must Include
- The name of your company
- Effective date of termination
- Reason for termination in detail (add any warnings if they were given)
- A paragraph explaining the notice of the termination is required by law
- If the relationship is under contract, mention those details.
- Any details about returning company materials such as badges, keys, equipment, car, credit cards, ID badges, etc.
- Details on their final paycheck (When will be received, if accrued vacation and/or sick pay will be added, etc.)
- Information on health insurance including the date that coverage will expire.
- Information on severance (if applicable)
- Any information on confidentiality or non-disclosures.