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And Another Thing...
You have an employee who has been terminated for unexcused absences, performance issues, or another valid reason. Do you need to supply that employee with a termination letter? Technically, no – but best human resources practices says yes!
 
While there are no federal laws that require an employer to provide employees who have been discharged with a written statement regarding their termination, certain states do have Service Letter Laws (16 states do, Pennsylvania does not at this time).  Letter Service Laws require employers (upon a former employees request) to provide "service letters" regarding past employment. These are normally limited to the basic facts of employment, job title, job duties and length of service. Be aware, even if you are not in a Service Letter Law State, other reasons may apply that require a service letter such as a union at your company. 
 
Regardless of your service letter requirements, employers should consider providing a termination letter detailing the nondiscriminatory business reason for the separation. Why bother? Documentation - as we always say – document, document, document. Good documentation helps you memorialize the events, a termination letter can assist your case during an unemployment compensation claim or even an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission Claim. In absence of information some tend to misremember the details of discharge. (we have seen it all).
 
Additional Key Points when Terminating an Employee:
1.   First and foremost – make sure that the termination is lawful and not discriminatory (and if you’re not sure…call counsel).
2.   Include the date and reasons for the termination in the termination letter.
3.  Make sure you are in compliance with process and documentation requirements (i.e. payroll records for terminated employees).
4.   Collect any and all employee property before the employee leaves if possible
5.   Make sure to calculate the employees last paycheck correctly (unused but accrued PTO, used but unaccrued PTO) while staying within the legal requirements for minimum wage.
Have questions about this topic or others? Contact RC Kelly Law Associates today at 215-896-3846 or help@rckelly.com


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