Sample Layoff Termination Letter

Use a Layoff Termination Letter to Lay Off Employees

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A Layoff Termination Letter Makes Business Sense

When an employer lays off employees, the employees deserve to receive the termination information in a termination letter. Use this sample layoff termination letter as a model to craft your own letters. Your employees warrant your care and attention during a layoff situation.

This sample termination letter is an example of the type of letter you might write to employees your business is forced to lay off due to economic factors. You care about the employees and regret having to make layoffs. The health of the business requires you to terminate the employment of some of your employees. You take this action with a heavy heart.

Your Employment Attorney Is Crucial in a Layoff Situation

Employers do layoffs with the assistance of an attorney to make sure that their layoffs are legal and non-discriminatory. Your layoff documentation, such as the termination letter, should be reviewed by your attorney, too. The attorney can guide you to make certain that everything about your layoffs is fair, kind, professional, and above board.

Ensure the Support of Your Remaining Employees

It is also important for the layoffs to appear fair, just, and nondiscriminatory in the eyes of the employees whom you retain following a layoff situation. They are going to experience the brunt of the missing colleagues in terms of the work, relationships, the environment, and their concern about their own employment future.

To ensure the commitment of your remaining employees, you need to effectively communicate the reasons for the layoff, how people were selected for the layoff, and what you did to ensure that the laid-off employees had a bridge to their future via such actions as a severance package.

Under normal circumstances, the manager or supervisor and a representative from Human Resources will hold a layoff meeting with each employee. The follow-up layoff termination letter summarizes what was said at the meeting.

Sample Layoff Termination Letter

This is an example of a layoff termination letter. Download the layoff termination letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a sample layoff termination letter
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Sample Layoff Termination Letter (Text Version)

Carl Lee
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

September 1, 2018

Thomas Main
1918 Street
Topeka, KS 66605
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Thomas,

This letter confirms our discussion today that you are being laid off from your employment with Fogerty Subscriptions effective immediately.

Unfortunately, economic conditions in the industry have resulted in slow sales. We decided to eliminate the quality department and all positions in it. Quality functions will move to the manufacturing department and be handled by existing employees in that department.

You will receive one week’s severance pay for each year that you have worked for Fogerty Subscriptions. In your case, with 12 years of employment, you will receive 12 weeks of severance pay at your normal weekly salary. During this time period, we will continue to provide health insurance coverage.

Additionally, payment for your accrued PTO will be included in your final paycheck which you will receive on our regular payday, Friday. You may pick up this check from the reception desk or we can mail it to your home. You will receive the severance payment once you have signed and returned the enclosed release of claims document.

You can expect a separate benefits status letter that will outline the status of your benefits upon termination. The letter will include information about your eligibility for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continuation of group health coverage.

We have received from you: your office key, identification badge, and the company-owned laptop at the layoff meeting. You will need to keep the company informed of your contact information so that we are able to provide the information you may need in the future such as your W-2 form.

We want you to know that this layoff is not a statement about your work for Fogerty Subscriptions. You have been a dedicated, contributing employee for 12 years. If you wish us to speak on your behalf to potential employers, please sign and return the enclosed form. It gives us your permission to discuss your employment with potential employers. Please let us know if we can assist you during your transition.


Carl Lee

Enclosures - 2

*Please note that laws regarding the final paycheck may vary from state to state and country to country.

These are the questions you will want to ask if you were laid-off or fired for any reason.

Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.