A sample letter which could be used if a WARN notice is not required.
It’s a good idea to seek advice from a professional due to the varying nature of the layoff situations. If you are considering laying off an employee who is on a protected leave, be sure to consult a labor law professional.
This is a sample letter which could be used if a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice is not required; generally WARN applies to layoffs of 1/3 or more of the staff or 50 employees at one time. If you have a union contract, be sure to check its provisions for layoffs.
Due to reductions of funding (or other situation) our organization finds it necessary to eliminate various jobs. Unfortunately, your position is affected by this reduction in force. Your last day of employment will be ___________.
- 1. If applicable, your medical benefits will be paid through ______________ and you will receive a COBRA notice addressing the continuation of those benefits.
- 2. If applicable, you should request reimbursement for all eligible organizational expenses as soon as possible, in order to expedite reimbursement for those expenses.
- 3. For unemployment insurance benefits, you can contact the state department for unemployment insurance.
- 4. Your final check includes payout for accrued but unused vacation. [Note: check to see if either state law or your personnel handbook requires payment of accrued leave benefits at the time of layoff. If it does not, you can issue the accrued benefit check a week later, for example, but specify the timing in this letter.]
- 5. [If severance pay will be given to the employee:] With your final check you will receive a Release and Severance Agreement. When you return this signed to the HR Department, you will receive a check for severance pay of $_____.
We are sorry that this reduction in force is necessary. This layoff is (permanent/temporary until ________). We will be talking to each employee individually. Please don’t hesitate to contact _______ if you have questions.
About the Author
Pamela Fyfe is an Employment Risk Manager for the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance. In her position she helps nonprofits avoid potential employment claims and reduce the possibility of future claims. Before joining the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, she practiced employment law for more than 25 years — representing management in wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment cases. She admits to possibly having sneaked online at work to see her first grandchild — Mara Adeline — who lives in London.
Articles on Blue Avocado do not provide legal representation or legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for advice or legal counsel. Blue Avocado provides space for the nonprofit sector to express new ideas. Views represented in Blue Avocado do not necessarily express the opinion of the publication or its publisher.