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Documenting Employee Termination

When an employee leaves your program, voluntarily or not, it is important to complete appropriate documentation. For Community Sexual Assault Programs, the Accreditation Standards require written authorization of employment termination in the personnel file (Standard FM5). Therefore, you may wish to include a termination checklist (signed by the supervisor) that identifies the last date of employment and makes note of any actions required by the employee (such as returning property belonging to the agency) and the employer (such as changing all passwords). Make a note of the date of completion of each item. This checklist should be completed regardless of the circumstances of termination.

If an employee is being involuntarily terminated, a letter should not take the place of an in-person interview to notify the employee (unless the employee has abandoned the workplace by not showing up for work or by failing to return from leave). See the previous Management Tip, When It's Time to Let Go: How to Terminate an Employee the Right Way, for more information. A termination letter should be brief, should identify the reason for termination in general terms such as "failure to comply with agency policies," and should explain final pay procedures and other essential information. Keep the tone civil and have another manager, a Human Resources officer, and/or an attorney take a look at the letter before you send it. You are required to provide such a letter within ten business days upon request by a former employee.

If the employee is resigning, ask for a letter of resignation and respond with a brief letter accepting the resignation, identifying the last date of employment, and providing any information the employee may need, such as how to access COBRA benefits.


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Reviewed: April 14th, 2015