It may go without saying, but being fired from a job can be a demoralizing experience for an employee, even while an employer had valid reasons for terminating employment. Despite this, disgruntled employees may believe that personality conflicts or benign mistakes may give rise to legal remedies.
Because of this, having written confirmation of your termination, and the reasons behind it, is an important step that is often overlooked because at will employees may be fired for any reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason. Nevertheless, a termination letter may clarify misunderstandings and offer an employer additional protection against legal action in the future.
As such, this post will highlight what should be in a termination letter, and how one could be used to stave off potential legal action.
Documentation of what went wrong – A termination letter is supposed to detail the actual reasons why the employee was dismissed. However, the letter should not include information suggesting that the employee was terminated for exercising a legal right such as taking allowed time off, or reporting safety violations.
An accurate timeline of events – A full recitation of the opportunities that were given to correct problem behavior or other deficiencies must detailed, along with the employee’s responses to them before he or she was dismissed.
Confirmation of a termination date – A termination date is essential because it starts the clock for important post-termination notices that must be sent. Also, an employee will need a confirmed date of separation in order to receive unemployment compensation.
If you have additional questions about termination letters, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.