Sample Termination Letters for the Workplace

Use These Sample Termination Letters to Let Employees Go

A termination letter is a necessary part of the employee termination process. It confirms the details of the termination meeting and gives the employee useful information for when their job ends. The information may be about their final paycheck, employee benefits, their termination date, as well as a request that the employee notifies you of any changes of address to ensure they receive any required paperwork for year's end.

Make sure that you have met with the employee prior to sending the termination letter. The termination meeting is essential for a smooth termination process, as it provides an opportunity for both the employee and the employer to express their thoughts and concerns with the goal of ending the relationship amicably. Meeting with the employee to end the employment relationship is kind, generous, and will help you avoid potential lawsuits due to discrimination or other potentially harmful charges.

The following letter templates can assist you in writing termination letters for various employee termination situations.  

Sample Basic Termination Letter

When an employer fires an employee, an employment termination letter documents the details of the termination and provides relevant evidence for the employee's file. The termination letter contains important information for the employee such as what occurred at the termination meeting, employee benefits and the final paycheck.

This basic sample termination letter is the most commonly written form of employee termination letter. The letter may be used in most instances of employee terminations.

Sample Layoff Termination Letter

When laying off employees, employers should provide employees with a termination letter that includes information about their layoff, their benefits, and their final paycheck. This sample layoff termination letter is useful in situations such as when your business is forced to lay off employees due to economic factors. 

The letters also provide documentation for your company file and for the unemployment compensation office when employees apply for unemployment.

Sample Termination for Cause Letter

Need a sample termination letter to use when you fire an employee for a reason? This sample letter of termination gives the cause for the employee's dismissal and provides documentation for the employee's personnel file.

It may also be used by the employer to fight unemployment compensation claims. Use this termination letter as an example when you write your own termination for cause letters.

Another Sample Termination for Cause Letter

This is another example of a termination letter that you can provide to an employee when they are fired for cause. This employee misled customers about their title and status within the organization.

This termination letter states the reason for the employment termination. You can send the letter following the termination meeting with the return receipt requested; or, you can hand the termination letter to the employee during the meeting.

Sample Dismissal for Poor Performance Letter

Employment termination for causes, such as poor performance, is difficult to demonstrate or document. Therefore, you may want to use a basic termination letter that provides no reason for the termination. However, if your performance data is incontrovertible, you can use this sample dismissal letter as your guide.

Sample Termination for Poor Attendance Letter

This example termination letter notifies an employee of their employment termination because of attendance problems.

In the letter, the employer outlines the extent of the problem and the prior actions that were taken to help the employee improve their attendance. Additionally, this termination letter sample highlights the employer's efforts to determine whether the absences were legitimate or covered by the law.

Sample Termination Letter for an Employee Who Could Not Adapt to Change

Need a sample termination letter for an employee who has not been able to learn their new, changing job? Despite your best efforts to train, coach, and mentor the employee, they failed to make the transition to the new requirements.

You will find both a sample letter and several recommendations about how you might proceed.

Understanding Termination for Cause

Termination for cause is very serious for organizations. Employers and employees have many reasons for why they might want to part ways, but employment termination for cause is not a desirable outcome for either the employer or the employee.

You will generally see a termination for a cause when an employee makes an error in their actions or judgment that is so severe that the employer believes it is in the best interests of all parties to immediately sever ties. This results in the employee immediately leaving the premises of the business usually with a management escort.

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.

Final Thoughts on Termination Letters

Ending an individual's employment is serious with implications for both the employer and the employee. When using letters of termination, make sure they are legal, ethical, and fair to all parties.

Also, be sure to consult with an attorney for a review of the language prior to sending the letter to a terminated employee. This will allow you to avoid potential lawsuits and other unpleasant situations.

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