When you have to terminate an employee without cause, you typically need to follow certain procedures. An official letter of termination often forms part of the necessary process. Not only does it serve as official notification to the employee, but it also goes into his or her file for future reference.A termination letter that uses the wrong tone or includes the wrong information can come back to haunt employers in a number of ways. In extreme cases, a poorly written letter can open the employer to lawsuits or complaints. In other situations, the company may get a reputation as a substandard employer and have trouble attracting good hires in the future.Coming up with the right tone and phrasing can pose difficulties for many. Consulting our letter of termination of employment without cause templates can help you steer your way through the difficult process of firing an employee.

Letter of Termination of Employment Without Cause Template

Pat Green is a senior manager with ABC Retail who must fire an accountant, Chris Jones, as part of a company-wide budget reduction initiative. Pat has met with Chris to discuss the termination and must now send him this official letter.

Dear Chris,

Regretfully, as you have learned in the course of our meeting with you earlier today, ABC Retail has taken the decision to terminate you. Your termination is effective two weeks from now, as of October 15, 2017.

As an employee who has been with ABC Retail for over two years, you will receive three weeks severance pay. ABC will also issue your final paycheck as scheduled on October 20, 2017; the payroll department will send it to your home address, which we have on file. This check will also reflect any PTO you may have accrued. HR will be in touch with you to explain what you can expect in terms of benefits, including information about continuation of health coverage.

On October 15, please check in with HR to give in your employee identification, office key, and any other property the company has issued to you. At this time, we will also ask you to sign a release of claims document.

Please make sure to update your contact information with HR so that you do not miss any important documentation we may need to send you later.

We value the work you have done for ABC Retail and wish you success in your further endeavors.


Pat Green, Senior Manager, ABC Retail

How To Write a Letter of Termination of Employment Without Cause

A letter of termination informs an employee that the company is hiring him or her. It also discusses practical steps to take next.

As an employer or supervisor, you may face the need to fire an employee without a specific cause. Sometimes, this type of termination has nothing to do with the employee’s performance and stems from budgetary concerns; in other situations, you may have problems with the employee that, for a variety of reasons, you do not wish to include in the official termination letter and discussions.

You need to use sensitivity and caution when drafting a termination letter. Learning of an impending termination can cause emotional upheaval for the employee in question. Keeping your language neutral and empathetic can help you strike an appropriate tone.

However, while you do want to indicate regret that you face this difficult situation, you should refrain from using exaggerated or lengthy expressions. The bottom line remains that the employee faces termination, so patently insincere words can increase negative emotion rather than alleviate it.

Do include the various practical steps the employee will need to take, as you see in the letter of termination of employment without cause template. Communicate clearly to avoid doubt or confusion. First, let your employee know the last date of employment. Next, tell him or her how you will be handling issues such as paychecks, severance, and anything else you may owe the employee. Explain when and to whom to give company property. Using clear language can help you and the terminated employee avoid problems later.

You may also consider it appropriate to express appreciation for the employee’s service to your company. As before, avoid overly fulsome language, as it could create the opposite effect of what you intend.

What To Avoid in Your Letter of Termination of Employment Without Cause

The top thing you want to avoid in this type of letter is actually mentioning a cause for the termination. In many cases, employers who disapprove of an employee’s performance nevertheless choose to officially terminate without cause in order to avoid undue negativity and possible disputes. Even if you have problems with the employee, your letter should not reflect them.

If the reason for termination does not stem from the employee’s conduct, do not include that cause, either. Giving out unnecessary details will not help the employee and may expose the company to problems in the future.

Avoid excessive expressions of regret or apologies. It is generally in the company’s interest to keep a terminated employee from becoming extremely upset, especially if the employee will continue to come to work for a period of time before the termination becomes effective. Both extreme callousness and extreme insincerity may increase an employee’s level of sadness or anger.

How To Follow Up After Sending Your Letter of Termination of Employment Without Cause

If you are a manager sending a termination letter, you may not need to follow up afterwards. Often, a termination letter comes as a confirmation of a verbal conversation with the employee.

Human Resources representatives may need to follow up to provide further information about benefits, paychecks, taxes, and other issues. You may also need to ask to employee to come in to surrender company property and complete necessary forms. Many companies ask terminated employees to sign a release of claim document.

Obviously, if the employee fails to comply with instructions in your termination letter, you may need to further address that. If you do so verbally, you may want to send a confirmation letter as well in order to have written documentation.

Top 5 Letter of Termination of Employment Without Cause Writing Takeaways

1. Cover the necessary technicalities

Termination often means dealing with figuring out benefits, taxes, and checks. A good letter tells employees how the company intends to handle these issues and to whom the employee can speak about them.

2. Be direct

Nobody likes to start out by delivering bad news, but a termination letter cannot avoid doing that. Your best option is to state your reason for the letter straight away, in terms the employee cannot misunderstand. Avoid starting with euphemisms, digressions, or overstated expressions of regret at having to take this action.

3. Do not explain

In a termination without cause, employers should not provide the employee any of the reasoning behind the decision to terminate.

4. Express empathy

An employer can appropriately express regret that this decision is necessary and an acknowledgment of the effect it will have on the employee. However, do not use overwrought language, as that tends to sound insincere and fails to help the employee on any practical level. You can also state your appreciation of the employee’s contributions to the company.

5. Maintain a neutral tone

The bulk of your letter should focus on providing necessary information. Avoid placing blame on the employee, the company’s situation, or other circumstances.