Termination forms are useful whether you need to write
a termination letter or to write up an incident for the
employee's permanent file. In either case, you must understand
the form is a legal document. If you eventually fire an
insubordinate, incapable employee, that individual may
retaliate against the company by filing a wrongful termination
lawsuit. Likely a judge will review this form and if not
done properly the court can use it against your company.
This brief article gives some tips on how to complete an
employee termination correctly.
Keep Your Termination Form Short and to the Point
When you complete this form, keep it brief. Usually all
you need is one page or less. Of course, there are some
rare occasions when there is an exception to this rule.
You must have a compelling reason to make the letter longer
than a page. If you find that you need to include more
details, then you include attachments.
Keeping your termination form short shows the recipients
you respect their time. The first recipient, the employee
in question, needs a brief account of his or her behavioral
problems. Do not expect your employee to wade through a
five-page document to find out what they have done wrong.
Another recipient is your management. Since most businesspeople
are busy, they do not like to read anything over one page.
If your termination form is long, management will likely
place it in a pile to read later, or maybe never. This
is an important document and they need to know what is
going on. If you end up in a wrongful termination suit,
the third recipient, the judge is not going to appreciate
going through multiple pages of business jargon. He, or
she, will see the company as ineffectively communicating
to this employee. This will work to the employee's advantage.
Even though the form is short, you must still include
all the important information. Keep the letter factual
and to the point. Briefly describe the reasons for termination.
Then list the employee's infractions with dates. Also include
any behaviors or tasks you expected the employee to perform
to fix their problem. Instead of describing these incidents
in detail, create attachments. This can be as simple as
including the employee's written and verbal warnings. You
can then refer to these attachments by name whenever you
are writing your letter.
Finally make sure your wording is clear. The language
should be simple and straightforward so the person reading
it understands your message. Take time to imagine the recipient
is sitting directly across from you and that you are explaining
the letter to them. Being straightforward like this in
your termination form will help them know exactly why they
are receiving this letter and how they are to deal with
When you have finished the termination form, it helps
to read it out loud so you can hear the words and make
sure that it sounds right. Make sure that you check its
spelling and grammar. It will reflect poorly on you if
the final copy has obvious grammar and spelling mistakes
because it looks sloppy and unprofessional.
guidebook for employee termination. Step by step.
With termination form, letter and procedure.