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Separation Notice


Employee termination tips, advice & letters

Standard Format for Your Separation Notice

The 3 most costly mistakes with problem employees. Separation notice help.



Whether you are firing your problem employee or laying off workers because of downsizing, you must give each worker a formal separation notice. It is a crucial part of the termination process. And while every termination is different, all separation notices should follow a similar format. This is not to say you do not have to tailor each separation notice, you do. But you can use a basic template and change it depending on your circumstances.

What a Separation Notice should contain

First, a separation notice should have basic employee information. You should include the employee's name and social security number. Then list the dates the employee started work and date last worked and the reason that they were separated from employment. Be careful when giving reasons for termination. Get rid of any discriminatory language or unprofessional wording.

You must make sure your employee clearly understands the reasons for the separation. Also you must have documented evidence to support those reasons. If you have collected this information properly, the employee will not be surprised by his or her current predicament. Finally there should be an area for both you and the employee to sign off on the separation notice. This gives you legal evidence the employee knew why you were letting him or her go.

When to Present the Notice

You should present the separation notice to the employee during a formal termination meeting. Go over the notice with the worker and then get the employee's signature. If you wish, you can give the employee an opportunity to comment on the document before they sign. Some employers elect to leave an open area on the notice for this. Once you have the employee's signature and your own on the notice, you should make a copy for the employee and one for your records.

The employee may need this notice to get unemployment benefits. And you need this document as well. Much like an employee disciplinary form, or any employment related written document, you should keep a separation notice on file. This separation notice is an important legal document proving that you did not terminate the employee for unlawful reasons.

Whatever your reasons for giving a separation notice, it is important to use a standard format. You do not want to leave out key information, especially considering the company may eventually use it as a legal document. This is true even if the separation is an amicable one. Finally, using a similar format keeps the process of termination consistent and fair for all individuals involved.

Needing to separate an employee from your company? This is how I terminate.


Employment Termination Missteps and Obstacles

Before bringing in the employee to your office, jot down a few notes to think about why you should terminate the employee. By answering a few questions, you can develop a decisive, short speech to give the employee, which will help relieve any turmoil afterwards and give insight into why you are terminating them.

* What problems has the employee caused?
* Are there specific policies the employee has broken?
* Have you warned the employee?
* Have you taken other measures to bring back the employee within good standing?
* Are there legal considerations to keep in mind?

This last question brings to mind why it is crucial to have certain actions thought out before bringing in the employee. Employers do not want to leave any doubt about why they are firing an employee. Do not let the imagination of the terminated employee run wild with discrimination lawsuit ideas. Be concise and direct about the missteps of the employee and the employment termination proceedings will be over within moments. Most terminations do not end in long-drawn-out conversations, but guarded goodbyes, but be prepared for pleas and some shameful comments.


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