Termination Letter Writing (With Examples and Template)

Emploinment termination letter. Unfair dismissal concept.

When you are in charge of managing employees, whether directly or through a human resources role, there may come a point in time when you need to terminate an employee. While terminating an employee is rarely an enjoyable task, a properly composed termination letter can make the process much smoother.

One key document during the process is a termination letter. An employee termination letter serves as an official termination notice. It is a simple correspondence that outlines important information regarding the end of an employee’s time with your business.

In this guide, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about writing an employee termination letter, along with termination letter examples and samples.

What Is a Letter of Termination of Employment?

A letter of termination of employment, frequently called a termination notice or termination letter, is an official correspondence used to document and explain the end of a worker’s employment with an organization. Companies will use these letters to explain to an employee the details surrounding their termination, including key information such as when their last day of work will be and when they can expect to receive their last paycheck.

There are two ways an employee might be terminated—voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary termination occurs when an employee resigns, quits, or completes a contract. An involuntary termination takes place when a business terminates a person’s employment with or without cause.

When Should You Provide a Letter of Termination?

You should provide a letter of termination to an employee immediately after informing them of their end of employment. If you operate in the state of Arizona, California, Illinois, or New Jersey, a termination letter to employee is a legally required document. While you might not be legally required to provide this letter to employees in other states, it is still a business best practice. Ideally, providing this document in a timely manner will allow an employee the most time possible to find a new job.

Termination Letter Template

If you are tasked with writing a termination letter, you can use the following termination letter template to help you get started. For more inspiration, check out the termination letter examples below as well.


Dear [Employee’s Name],

This letter is to inform you that your time of employment with [Company Name] is terminated effective [date of termination] due to [factual reasons for termination].

[Insert any applicable documentation or details if termination is with cause]

Your final paycheck will be provided to you on [date] and will include [compensation such as unused leave].

Your health care benefits will continue through [date].

Please return the following company property to Human Resources immediately:

[Property to be returned]

If you have any further questions, please contact me at [phone number] or [email].



[Job Title]

Termination Letter Examples

If you need help writing a termination letter, use the following examples as a showcase of how to include the right amount of details in your letter. Be sure when using a template or example to replace all copy with relevant information.

Termination Letter Example 1: Layoffs

September 12, 2022

Dear Stanley Meris,

Over the past two years, COVID has taken a toll on the profits of ABC Edge Agency. As we look forward, we are forced to reassess our budgets and spending in order to mitigate losses. In restructuring our company, we have determined the best course of action is to eliminate 200 positions at the company. I regret to inform you that we will remove your position as customer service representative as of September 13, 2022.

Your final paycheck will be provided to you on September 13 and will include all unused leave. Your healthcare benefits will continue through September 30, 2022.

Please return the following company property to Human Resources before your last day with the company:

  • Cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Headset

If you have any further questions, please contact me at 777.555.3333 or [email protected].

Thank you for your hard work over the past three years.


Karen Filips

CEO, ABC Edge Agency

Termination Letter Example 2: With Cause

September 12, 2022

Dear Brandie Waters,

This letter confirms our conversation today, informing you that your employment with ABC Retail is terminated effective immediately. You have been terminated for the following reasons:

  • On August 10, you received notice of a no call no show violation.
  • On August 23, you received a second notice of a no call no show violation.
  • On September 1, you were put on an improvement plan (see attached signed document).
  • On September 9, you receive a third notice of a no call no show violation, putting you in violation of your improvement plan.

Your final paycheck will be provided to you on September 13. Your health insurance benefits will continue through September 30.

You must return the following ABC Retail property to human resources immediately:

  • 5 Employee Polos
  • 1 Headset
  • 1 Radio

Should you have further questions, please contact me directly at 888.999.2222 or by email at [email protected].


Phylis Wall

District Manager of ABC Retail

Termination Letter Best Practices

When terminating an employee, use the following best practices to help guide the process.

  • Work with a lawyer: Depending on where your company is located, you may need to adhere to specific laws when writing a termination letter. To ensure that you obey all termination of employment laws, consult with a lawyer before you begin the process.
  • Have a conversation first: Before you hand the termination of employment letter to a worker, have a conversation with the employee one-on-one. Let the employee know about their termination prior to providing them with the document.
  • Don’t get personal: While you must include details explaining the reason for terminating an employee in your termination letter, make sure you keep it professional. Even if you struggled with an employee’s behavior or attitude, a termination letter is not an appropriate place to include a personal rant. Doing so is not professional, and it can put you and your organization at risk of a lawsuit.
  • Be clear and concise: In some cases, providing a notice of termination to an employee can be difficult. You might be tempted to try to soften the blow by including extra information in your letter. However, a termination letter should be kept short and to the point. This letter should only contain pertinent information about an employee’s termination, not an expression of your sadness or remorse.

To learn more about how to handle employee hiring and termination, stay tuned to our employer insights center, where you’ll find helpful guides and articles specifically designed for the modern employer.

COB Meaning — And How to Use It for Clear Communication

COB - Close of Business. Computer keyboard on the office table.

In business correspondence, it is normal to see a variety of acronyms used in place of common business terms — for instance, COB meaning. Over time, these acronyms become commonplace and easy to understand. However, when you first encounter a business acronym in an email, you might have questions about the specific meaning of the term.

One common acronym used in business emails is COB. In this article, we’ll not only define COB meaning but also how you can use it, best practices for using COB in an email, and tips for employers as they implement acronyms into daily correspondences with employees. Let’s get started.

What Is the Meaning of COB?

COB stands for “close of business.” This acronym is often used in emails to indicate either a deadline or to let the recipient know when to expect a report or response. However, when you are working with clients or employees across different time zones, what constitutes “close of business”?

In the U.S., close of business usually refers to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, regardless of where you are located. This helps ensure that teams across time zones are on the same page.

Why is Eastern Standard Time used to indicate close of business rather than Pacific, Mountain, or Central Time? Professionally, most companies have adhered to this practice due to the closing of the stock market, which takes place at 5 p.m. in the Eastern Standard Time zone.

Examples of COB Meaning in Email

To help showcase the COB meaning in email, check out the following examples of how you can use this acronym to indicate a timeline:

Example 1:

Dear Mr. Sancko,

We look forward to adding your marketing data to our upcoming report to the leadership team. Please send over your department’s marketing data by COB (5 p.m. EST) on Friday, September 2, to ensure inclusion in our report.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.


Janice Langley

Example 2:

Hi Sarah,

I’m looking forward to including your slides in our marketing presentation to the digital transformation team. I am touching base to remind you to please have your final presentation slides emailed to me by COB on Monday, September 5, 2022.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Bernard Kringle

Example 3:

Hi Janet,

Thank you for completing the first step in applying for our marketing manager position. Please make sure that you have completed your application by COB (5 p.m. EST) on Friday, September 23, 2022, to be considered for this role.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Mary Rain


Another common acronym used in business correspondence that is used to indicate a timeline is EOD. EOD stands for “end of day” and carries a similar meaning to COB. However, the difference between COB and EOD is that EOD typically refers to the sender’s time zone. For example, if a manager writes to their employee and they both work in the U.S. in Central Standard Time, they might use EOD to indicate that a task should be completed by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Common uses for EOD include the following:

  • All time card submissions are due by EOD.
  • Please make revisions to this document by EOD.
  • To be considered for this role, please submit your application by EOD.
  • To be included in our presentation, we request all slides to be sent over by EOD.

When using COB versus EOD, it is best to use COB to discuss deadlines with organizations or employees spanning time zones. EOD is better for communicating with team members who you know reside in the same time zone as you. For example, if you are messaging a colleague through an employee chat and you both work in the same office, you might request information for a project by EOD. However, if you were asking for the same information from an external source and you are uncertain of the time zone where they operate, it is safer to use COB.

Tips for Using COB in Business Correspondence

While COB can be a handy acronym for indicating a deadline or timeline for a project’s completion, it is important to use the abbreviation carefully. While you might understand COB meaning, that does not mean that everyone you correspond with does. For that reason, be sure to employ these tips when using COB in an email or letter:

  • Make sure to clarify: Along with the abbreviation COB, be sure to also include a timestamp and date. For example, rather than asking for a document to be submitted by COB, you should ask for a document to be submitted by COB (5 p.m. EST) on the Date, Month, and Year. This will help ensure that there is no miscommunication about a deadline.
  • Don’t repeat your ending: The acronym COB stands for close of business. As such, it is incorrect to type out COB business. In this case, the repeat of business is redundant.
  • Help new employees: When you work in a professional business setting for a number of years, it can be easy to grow accustomed to using acronyms. However, as new employees are hired, particularly those with little professional experience, these acronyms can be confusing. Make sure to help new employees learn important business acronyms. You can even outline acronyms your organization commonly uses in onboarding documents or employee resource guides. This will help prevent confusion and ensure that all employees are on the same page when communicating.
  • Don’t include the weekends: When referring to COB or EOD, avoid using these to indicate a deadline over the weekend. Traditionally, business days are only considered to be Monday through Friday. In some rare cases, you might indicate a weekend deadline due to a specialized project or when working with business associates that have weekend hours.

When writing business correspondence, clear communication is key. If you plan to use acronyms, such as COB or EOD, always pair these business terms with a concise explanation of deadline expectations.