How to Write a Perfect Termination Letter

In 2018, businesses in the United States terminated over 20 million employees

Even though this is a pretty common process is you have employees at your business, it’s not an easy one. To start with, you’ll need to hold a termination meeting to inform the employee of what’s happening. After that meeting, you’ll need to provide a termination letter to protect your business legally. 

Keep reading to learn what things you need to include in your termination letter. 

Date and Reason of Termination

Effective writing gets straight to the point. The most basic information your letter needs to include is the final working day and the reason for termination. These should be the first things written in the letter. 

If the termination is effective immediately, make sure you also write out the actual date for record purposes. 

Even if you’re an at-will employment state, it’s a nice gesture to state the reason. It also protects you from the employee arguing that they were fired for an illegal reason. For this reason, you should always strive to write down a reason for the termination, whether it be the elimination of a position or misconduct by the employee.

List of Previous Misconduct Warnings

If the termination was caused by misconduct, it’s wise to include a list of previous misconduct warnings or meetings. This means that anytime you warn someone of their misbehavior, you should keep a written record of this communication. 

Making a list of these warnings is the easiest way to simplify the letter formating. If you’re unsure of what your letter should look like, look up termination letter templates online. 

Business Property to Be Returned

Odds are, the employee has a few property items that belong to the business. These could include laptops, cellphones, a vehicle, or even simple office supplies like a stapler. 

Write out a cohesive list of all the items. To help you keep track, you should keep a record of which items employees are given when they are initially hired. Then, you can refer to that document upon termination to ensure nothing is forgotten. 

It’s also suggested to create signature lines at the bottom of the letter to record you and the employee stating that the items were returned. Then, you can make a copy of this signed letter for your own records. 

Details of Final Benefits

The information that your employees will be most interested in is their final benefits. 

This could include how they are going to receive their final paycheck, in addition to any remaining vacation or sick days. If your company is offering the employee severance, you’ll include those basic details in this section as well. 

Keep Your Termination Letters Simple and Professional 

Termination is never easy — from both as the employer and as the employee. To ease the process, make sure to keep the termination letter and the whole process as simple and professional as possible. 

Not sure if it’s truly time to terminate someone? Head to this site’s blog for the best business and management advice. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.