Q. We are about to terminate an employee for several reasons. Are we required to provide a written document explaining the reasons for her termination?
A. No. Absent an employment contract specifically requiring such statement, there is no requirement for employers to provide employees with a written statement—or even an oral one—setting forth the reasons for termination.
Nevertheless, it is a good idea for employers to document the reason for the discharge. Do this in writing at the time of the termination. Such documentation will provide the employer a contemporaneous record of the reason for the termination, which can be used to defend potential claims for unemployment benefits, discrimination, wrongful discharge or similar claims.
It is the employer’s option whether to provide this document to the employee or to provide any separate statement explaining the reason for the discharge. Before you do, it is a good idea to go over the explanation with your attorney.
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