Many managers and business owners dread having to fire an employee. If a business lasts long enough, chances are there will come a time when this needs to be done. The employer must comply with any applicable rules or procedures regarding firing an employee. If a notice of termination is required, the letter should be drafted carefully.
Gather Information About the Employee
Often, managers anticipate having to fire an employee; it generally does not come as a surprise (although it can). The employee has either been performing his work duties poorly, showing up late or otherwise causing the business harm. Regardless, the employer should review the employee’s file before writing the letter. Of particular concern are any past performance reviews and meetings with the employee. As necessary, the employer can point to past incidents when giving a reason for the termination.
Tone of the Notice
The tone of the letter should be professional and measured. The drafter should avoid any emotional or colloquial phrases. There is no specific length for an employment termination notice; the individual facts and circumstances should dictate what should and should not go into the letter.
Date of Termination and Reason
To open, the drafter should state clearly that the employee’s job is being terminated and list the effective date. Employers must pay particular attention to any rules and regulations regarding the effective date of the termination. According to LegalZoom.com, state laws vary, but in some instances — such as for layoffs — employers must give ample notice of termination (such as two months). Next, the letter should outline the reasons for the termination.
The termination letter should then address any particular concerns regarding that specific employee. This includes explaining when that employee’s insurance coverage ends (if that employee is covered under a company policy) and the severance package (if any). The letter should be printed on company letterhead and be signed by the manager or person responsible for hiring and firing employees.