How to Write a Termination Letter

Terminating an employee is never an easy thing to do, but knowing how to write a termination letter is an important part of the process. The point of a termination letter isn’t to scold the employee one last time, it’s to formally present the employee with their termination, provide reasons why they were terminated, and to inform them of what happens next.

Instructions:

1. Start the letter with today’s date and then type out the employee’s full name, address, and employee number (if applicable) underneath the address.

2. Open with a standard salutation that includes the employee’s name “Dear John Doe.” Move the cursor down one line and start the opening paragraph. It should begin with something such as “We regret to inform you,” and then go on to explain that the employee’s job status with the company has been terminated. Make sure to list the effective date of the employee’s termination.

3. Begin a second paragraph and list the reasons for the employee’s termination. These should be subjective reasons such as poor attendance, excessive tardiness, theft, etc. Explain that the termination is based upon these reasons and is non-negotiable. Make sure to list any warnings or coaching that led up to this termination.

4. Move the cursor down a line and start a new paragraph that explains what happens next. This should include details about paychecks, when the employee needs to clean out their desk, etc. Make sure to include any instructions about returning keys, ID badges, or any other items belonging to the company.

5. Type your and title at the bottom of the letter, then proofread it to make sure that you haven’t left out anything important. Print the letter on company letterhead and sign above your printed name at the bottom.

Tips:

Be sure to consult an attorney on all termination matters before you act, especially before writing a termination letter. Legal matters with employees can get quite complicated, and it’s important to make sure that you’re acting fairly and within your legal rights.

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