|Sample Termination Letter
by J. Talbott, LL.B.
This letter is written for the termination of a unionized employee in Canada. For a termination for a non-union employee visit our sister site here. This sample termination letter is provided without any warranty and is not intended as professional advice. Use at your own risk.
C/o Employer’s Address
Dear Jean Candy:
Re: Termination for Just Cause
In accordance with article 99.4 of the collective agreement, this letter serves to indicate that you are being dismissed immediately.
Yesterday, I was contacted by the local subsidiary’s representative, Billy Idle, who stated that his office had submitted several requests for reimbursements for money in the last quarter, and had not received anything. I found this odd, particularly because I recalled recently authorizing a $1000.00 be sent to the office.
I went to speak to Arthur Anders, Director of Finance, to see if he had copies of any cancelled cheques from the subsidiary. As it turned out, all of them had been sent and cashed. I noticed, though, that the last cheque, for $1000.00, was apparently signed by Bill Idle, but in a handwriting remarkably different than all the other cheques that had formerly been signed off. In fact, “Idle” had been misspelled “Idol.”
I phoned Billy Idle and explained that we had a cancelled cheque with a signature purporting to be his. He denied ever receiving it.
That afternoon, not knowing what could have happened with this cheque, I sent you an email asking what you thought might have occurred. You replied, saying that Billy was a liar, and was probably trying to “squeeze more money out of us.” You misspelled his name, saying “Idol” instead of “Idle.”
I asked you to come to my office and to bring a shop steward. When I detailed what had happened, and the misspelling, you began to get defensive, and said, “So, what if I misspelled his name? That doesn’t prove anything!” I then asked if you knew how this cheque could have been cashed, and you said you did not. You mailed it to Billy Idle, as per my instructions after it was signed. You became flustered, and said, “I did it. Is that what you want to know? I signed the cheque.” You gave no explanation for why you took the money, though you were given ample opportunity to answer this question.
Although I appreciate that you finally did tell me the truth, it was after much questioning on my part. The cheque was dated August 29, 2002, which gave you a lot of time to come and see me and tell me the truth. You did not, and chose instead to conceal your fraud and theft. Moreover, considering that we entrust you to handle thousands of dollars in disbursements to the subsidiary offices, the employer can no longer trust you to perform the job you were hired to do. Honesty is the cornerstone of any employment relationship, particularly where money is being handled.
As a consequence, I am relying upon article 99, which identifies, “theft, fraud, criminal conduct, or violence” as triggers for an immediate suspension or dismissal. Considering the seriousness of your employment offence, the amount of money involved, your lack of contrition, and the fact that the employer cannot trust you to handle money any longer, you are hereby terminated without notice.
Effective immediately, you will leave the employer’s premises. You may telephone me tomorrow to arrange a time to pack up your belongings. I am amenable to having you come in on the weekends or after 6 p.m. during the week to supervise you picking up your belongings. I would recommend your shop steward be present.
Please also note that your next pay cheque will be forwarded to your home address. After today, you will no longer be paid, nor will the standard statutory deductions be made. Arthur Anders will be mailing you a cheque in two weeks—it is the final employer contribution to your RRSP, pro-rated to today’s date. Note also that you will no longer be entitled to any benefits under our insurer’s package, effective today.
[Add other final touches regarding any last financial payment, vacation, deductions, etc.]
Manager of Subsidiary Offices
cc. Union Local (Names of Shop Stewards)
cc. Personnel File of Jean Candy
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. Talbott, LL.B., is a labour lawyer, consultant, and founder of the Ottawa firm, Labour Relations Consultants. He was formerly Director of Human Resources for a unionized, national non-profit organization. His experience includes termination of union and non-union employees, and drafting and negotiating employee settlements. His contact information is given below.
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