Does the employer by law have to provide written notification of termination and if so, how far in advance?

alan avak

A friend of mine had this question:

I was called at work in a large corporation in mid-September by HR and told orally that my last day of work would be 10/30 and I would get an email with the details of the severance the following day.  I never received anything, in writing or otherwise, until a FedEx package with the terms of the severance arrived at my house on 10/30, terminating me (and my health insurance) that day.

Does the employer by law have to provide written notification of termination and if so, how far in advance?  (The company’s handbook states either party can end employment at will.)


One should be notified before termination to avoid penalties by the employee and also to allow the management legalize the vacant position. The employer should let the employee be aware to also avoid future confusion. The duration matters according to the terms agreed and according to the type of contract.

Lynchelle Villegas

Yes . Because this is the most important ,

A notice of termination is an official, written notification of being laid off or fired from an employee’s current position. Reasons for termination can vary from gross misconduct, tardiness, and insubordination to layoffs, corporate closures, or downsizing. So it depends on teh case of an employees

Stephanie Caswell

By law I don’t believe they do need to give it in writing. If you’re quitting then you do but they don’t. And they don’t need to give any notice either. I guess it all depends on the reason they are firing you. If it’s a serious enough reason they could even have security escort you out.

Louise Crisologo

Yes, as any decent company, they should provide you a written notification re: termination as soon as possible or at least after the verbal warning.  This is both for the employer and the employee.  This is so to prevent any cases filed from both parties in the future.

Susan Williams Markel

Whether or not notice or reasoning (written or otherwise) must be given when terminating employment depends on the state that you are in. Many states are “Right to Work” states. In those states you can quit or be fired without notice or reason. Insurance however should be offered at the same premium for a certain number of days (usually 30) under the COBRA Act. You should be able to do a web search to find out if your state is a Right to Work state. You should also be able to find out if your state enforces the COBRA Act. If so, you should seek legal counsel for your insurance.