Sample Termination Letters

woman handing man termination letter

Whether an individual is being terminated for cause, such as a performance or disciplinary problem, or if the termination is for another reason, such as a layoff, you may want (or need) to provide a termination letter at the time the individual is notified of the decision. Starting from a sample letter template can be a better option than beginning from a blank page. The sample letters provided here are free to use and can be edited to suit your purposes.

Two Example Termination Letters

To use one of the sample letters, simply click the image for the version that best meets your needs. It will open as a PDF document that you can edit, save and print. If you have any problems working with the document, review this guide for Adobe printables for assistance.

General Termination Letter

If you are terminating someone's employment for a reason that does not involve cause, or if your company is choosing not to communicate cause, use this general termination letter as a starting point for creating your document.

general termination letter printable pdf
General termination letter

Termination With Cause Letter

If you need to convey a cause-based reason in a termination of employment in the letter, use this sample letter as a template to begin the writing process.

cause-based termination letter printable pdf
Cause-based termination letter

Denying Unemployment

If the company plans to attempt to deny unemployment compensation, the letter may be submitted as evidence for an appeal. Additionally, if the employee feels that the termination was not justified or that the company committed employment law violations, it may also be provided to an attorney or governmental regulatory agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Letter Writing Tips

Keep in mind that the employee who receives the letter may not be the only person who sees it. The document needs to clearly communicate the decision and be written with protection of the company's interests in mind. When writing a termination letter, it is very important to keep the document fact-based and focused on the decision to terminate. Be direct, to the point, and avoid writing anything that sounds like name calling or placing blame. Also avoid the opposite extreme of trying to 'soften the blow' by praising the employee, as this is not an appropriate place to do so.

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Sample Termination Letters