3 most costly mistakes with problem employees. Separation notice
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
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
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.
to separate an employee from your company? This is how I terminate.