A notice of termination letters is often used by employers to give notice to an employee that their services are no longer required. In a broader sense, it’s an official notification of the termination of a contract or agreement between two parties. There could be several reasons for the termination and usually, it’s about the employee’s misconduct or poor performance.

Notice of Termination

How does a notice of termination work?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it isn’t a requirement for an employer to serve notice to an employee prior to termination. All employees in the US are “at-will” which means that the employer has the right to terminate employees for any reason even without just cause, as long as the reason isn’t illegal like religion, racial discrimination or gender.

The basis of the rationale behind this is the condition that employees also have the right to vacate their jobs for any reason at any time. The only notifications that are legally required in the US to include in a notice of termination are those related to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and the Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

Employee Termination Forms

Do employers need to provide a notice of termination?

In the US, most employees are “at-will” workers which means that the relationship between an employer and an employee can get terminated for any or no reason, provided the employee isn’t terminated for discriminatory reasons and isn’t protected by an employment agreement. On the part of the employee, being “at-will” means that they can resign from their job any time as long as they give a 2-week notice or in some cases, no notice at all.

For employers, the reason for termination in an employee termination form can be practically any reason. Most reasons can get accepted as long as they aren’t legally considered discriminatory and that the employee isn’t protected by a union agreement or contract. There is no existing federal law that requires companies to provide any kind of notice of termination of a contract.

Even without any law that necessitates it, most employers still provide notice of termination. During layoffs, they often pay their employees through a set pay period, and in most cases, they also provide severance pay. They can even opt to do this for employees who got fired.

Why then do employers still provide termination paperwork and severance when they aren’t legally required to do so? Companies do this for different reasons including tradition, compassion, and to avoid any lawsuits from their employees. Moreover, if the reason for termination comes from performance issues and not by larger market factors that might threaten the company’s survival, the employer still wants to maintain a reputation for being a fair place to work in.

Like any other company, employers do have a brand that they want to remain positive. Any employee who gets a choice of working with a company that provides severance and notice as against one that fires workers without explanation, compensation or warning, then it becomes pretty obvious what decision they will make.

Notice of Contract Termination

When do you need to give a notice of termination?

According to the FLSA, there are no requirements that an employer must give a notification to an employee like an employee termination form prior to his layoff or termination unless, of course, if the employee is under contract and is part of a collective bargaining agreement or union.

In such cases, there will be a need to give a notice of termination. There are also instances where the employer must provide advanced notice of termination of the contract on accounts of mass layoffs, company closure or other large shutdowns.

Again, there aren’t any regulations that require employers to issue advanced termination paperwork to the employee should they decide to terminate him unless the employee falls under a union or collective bargaining agreement. For the sake of courtesy, there are some employers who still give a notice of termination that states the date when the employee’s contract will end, although this can differ for every employer. However, this isn’t a federal requirement.

What is the minimum notice period for termination of employment?

An employer should give an employee getting terminated the appropriate period of notice as required by the FLSA or in the case of the employee, the enterprise agreement, individual contract of employment or modern award. The following pointers are the notices required that the employer gives when terminating an employee:

  • An employee who worked in a company for less than 1 year continuously should receive 1-week’s notice.
  • An employee who worked in a company for at least 1 year but less than 3 years continuously should receive 2-weeks’ notice.
  • An employee who worked in a company for at least 3 years but less than 5 years continuously should receive 3-weeks’ notice.
  • An employee who worked in a company for 5 years or more continuously should receive 4-weeks’ notice.
  • An employee who worked in a company for 2 years continuously and is 45-years-old and above must receive an additional 1-week’s notice.

Notice of Termination of Lease

How do I write a termination notice?

It’s always good practice to include in a notice of termination specific information when applicable. You may need additional information in the employee termination form depending on your company’s size, the reason for termination, and other variables. Here are some pointers to consider when writing this document.

  • Write details about the employee
    This includes the name of the employee, the company’s name, and the name of the manager handling the termination. You can also mention other details about the company relevant to the employee.
    This completes employee’s record with the company and you can access this information for future use. In case there is a need to access the notice, later on, there will be no need to search through other records to find out what the employee’s responsibilities were as these are all listed in the termination notice.
  • Include significant dates
    You need these dates to establish a timeline as they can provide evidence about why you terminated the employee. Moreover, these dates act as proof if there are any legal proceedings. At the very least, you should include the date you gave the letter to the employee and the effective date of the termination.
  • Also, include the reason for termination
    There are several reasons why an employee gets terminated. Whatever the reason is, give the employee some peace of mind by letting him know why he suddenly found himself jobless.
  • If applicable, include a receipt of company property
    Upon termination, the employee might have in his possession some company property. This could be a laptop, a company car, a smartphone, and more. It could be as mundane as a key to the office’s door. If these are company property, the employee needs to return them. Confirm the receipt of the items in the termination paperwork so that you can establish proof of possession.
  • List all the benefits, severance, and other information regarding compensation
    Some employees getting terminated may receive unused benefits a severance package or other compensations. Include the instructions that the employee should follow to receive these benefits.
    Make these instructions very clear so there would be no problems in going through the process. Keep in mind that too much information is better than a lack of information. Some of these benefits are extremely valuable and you certainly don’t want the employee to feel cheated on what is deservingly his.
    If the company will be the one that processes the benefits for the employee, inform them when they can expect the benefits. If you should include a specific date, make sure that you complete the transaction on or before the specified date. When you’re late, this can lead to further issues.
  • State legal agreements
    Before employees get hired, they must complete and sign legal agreements which usually include the non-compete agreement/clause (NCA) and the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). You don’t have to let the employees sign these during the process of termination as they might perceive it as a type of penalty.
    Instead, it’s best to remind the employee about such binding contracts they signed when they first got hired. You can provide him copies of all applicable documents but write a summary of the documents’ most important points so that the employee can understand what he can and cannot do.
  • Details about their final paycheck
    It would be a lot easier if possible, to give the employee his last paycheck when the termination letter has been duly signed. If you cannot do this, include the specifics in the letter. Include these specifics in the notice of termination so you can avoid issues concerning unpaid compensation that may lead to negative feelings and worse, legal proceedings later on.

Notice of Termination of Employment

What is a termination form?

In summary, a termination form is an official document given by the employer informing employees that they’re going to get fired or laid-off from their position. There are several reasons for termination. Some examples are misconduct, tardiness, insubordination, downsizing, corporate closures, and more. Not providing a termination form is not really against the law although there are some situations where employees might consider the termination illegal.