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Termination Letter & Separation Notice Requirements by State

April 21, 2023 by Fiona Moran

employee reviewing separation notice requirements by stateWhen an employer terminates an employee, there could be regulations governing the separation process depending on the state in which they do business. Employers must keep track of these states that require separation notices or termination letters to avoid non-compliance issues. A termination letter or separation notice usually provides a notification of rights to file for unemployment benefits to the employee and in some cases, basic separation information to the state agency if the employee files an unemployment claim. Some states have specific separation notices that employers must provide upon termination. Employers should know the statutory separation notice requirements by state, how to access them, and when to deliver them.

This following list was last updated April 2023. To learn how to reduce time spent on multi-state unemployment compliance, visit Experian Employer Services.

Separation Notice Requirements by State

Arizona

Employers are required to provide a separating employee with a printed statement containing information about filing for unemployment benefits.  There is a pamphlet available on the state’s website to meet this requirement, UIB-1241A.

California

Employees must also be provided with a copy of the state’s pamphlet (DE 2320) explaining their benefit rights as soon as appropriate.

Employers are also required to provide written notice to an employee upon a change in employment status (including a leave of absence). The EDD’s website provides this sample notice that meets the minimum requirements.

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Colorado

Employers are required to provide a notice to employees at separation that includes information on obtaining unemployment insurance, contact information for the employee to file a claim, information on the employer and the reason the employee was separated from the employer. A fillable form is provided by the state’s Department of Labor and Employment.

Connecticut

Employer’s must complete form UC-61 Unemployment Notice which is part of the Unemployment Separation Package that must be provided to an employee at the time of separation.  If a copy cannot be provided in-person, it must be mailed to the employee’s last known address.

Georgia

In Georgia, employers must complete a signed Separation Notice and provide a copy to the employee either by hand or by mail.

Illinois

Employers must provide Form CLI111L to employees after they have been separated from employment for seven or more days.

Iowa

A Notice of Separation should be completed by an employer when an employee leaves or refuses employment, and the employer believes they are not qualified for unemployment benefits. This notice can also be completed online at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/EmployerSeparation.

Maryland

Employers can provide a notice of unemployment availability to separated employees through a letter, email, or text. The notice includes the recommended templates.

Massachusetts

An employee must be provided with Form 0590-A, delivered in-person or sent to the employee’s last known address within 30 days of separation.

Michigan

Form IA 1711 must be provided to an employee upon separation unless an employer is filing claims on behalf of the employee.

Mississippi

Employer’s can report a separation or refusal of work through the state’s website here.

Missouri

Employer’s can provide Form M-INF-288-5 to separated employees with information about filing for unemployment benefits.

Nevada

Notice DETR-ESD must be given to all separating employees at the time of separation.

New Jersey

Form BC-10 must be given to employees that separate for whatever reason at the time of separation.

New York

Employers must provide an employee who goes off payroll written notice that includes the reason for separation, whether the separation is permanent or temporary, the employer’s name, employer’s NY Employer Registration Number, and mailing address where payroll records are kept. They can use Form IA12.3 from the NY DOL’s website which includes all of this information.

Pennsylvania

Employers are obligated to notify departing employees of unemployment compensation availability. Form UC-1609 from the state’s website can be used to provide all required information.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, employees must be informed of unemployment compensation availability at the time of their separation. The requirements of the notice can be found here.

South Carolina

A Notification of the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits must be provided to separating employees by mail, text message, email or in person.

Tennessee

Employers must provide Form LB-0489 to employees within 24 hours of separation unless they were employed less than a week or will be recalled within a week.

Louisiana Workforce Commission

One state to note that has a statutory requirement is the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Louisiana requires employers to submit a Separation Notice (LWC-77) within 72 hours of a worker’s separation. LWC-77 is not an unemployment claim. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the prohibition of non-charging to the employer’s UI accounts. LWC-77 must be completed online and a copy provided to the separating employee in-person or by mail within three days of separation.

LWC-77 is most applicable when there are base-period claims and chargeability cases. In Louisiana, chargeability cases are based on establishing a disqualifying separation, timely response to the unemployment claim and Form 77 being submitted to the state and claimant within 72 hours. The employer will be charged if proof to all three factors can’t be provided. Since this is not a response to a UI claim and no determination as to UI benefits will be made from this form, the individual that completes the form should list themselves as the contact. Louisiana employers should follow these steps once a worker becomes separated:

  • Submit LWC-77 online or submit via paper form and sign the form;
  • Provide a copy of the Separation Notice and Required Notification to Separating Employees of Availability of Unemployment Compensation to the separated worker either in-person or mailed to their last known address within three days;
  • Copy the envelope you are using to send the form in case any disputes arise during the workforce process;
  • Do not request a signature as the claimant could deny the package and they wouldn’t receive the form.

Stay on Top of Separation Notice Requirements by State

Staying on top of separation notice requirements by state, their regulatory changes and various state-required termination letters can be time-consuming for an internal HR team or open an organization up to compliance errors with potential penalties. Experian Employer Services offers solutions for unemployment management to increase efficiency and compliance to save money overall.

What is a Separation Notice?

A separation notice is a formal document given to an employee and/or the state that informs the employee is separating from the company. Often, separation notice requirements by state help ensure employees know their rights to file for unemployment benefits, the state has accurate account and address information to notify the employer, and a way to verify the accuracy of separation information provided by the claimant.

What is the Purpose of a Separation Notice?

Separation notices are given when an employee is being separated either temporarily or permanently and state why the employee is being let go. This helps ensures the employee has necessary information to file an unemployment claim and provides the state with the information they need to ensure prompt processing of the claim.

Termination Letter & Separation Notice FAQs

What Should a Separation Notice Include?

State separation notices vary by state; some may require employers to provide certain information while others do not. However, most state separation notices include the following information:

  • Business name
  • Employer’s state unemployment account number and mailing address
  • Employee name
  • Date of letter
  • Date of termination
  • Reason for termination
  • Company property, such as laptops or cellphones
  • Last paycheck details
  • Benefits, severance or compensation package information

How much detail about the separation should be included on a Separation Notice?

Separation notices typically only require a basic statement related to the reason for separation, and it is our recommendation that this be a standard practice by employers. If the claimant files a claim for unemployment benefits, the employer is asked to provide all details and at that time.

Providing a Separation Agreement in addition to a Separation Notice?

There may be times when a legal separation agreement is presented to the employee that may provide a separation payment with a stipulation included that the employee will not file litigation related to their separation in a number of arenas. It is important to note that an employee cannot agree to waive their right to file for unemployment benefits as part of a separation agreement. It varies across the nation on how the states treat separation agreements with a clause included that an employee will not file for unemployment benefits. In some states only the specific section that includes unemployment is deemed invalid, in others, the entire separation agreement is invalid if a waiver of unemployment benefits is included, and in a few, the employer is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor if waiving unemployment benefits is included in a separation agreement.

Does Separation Notice Have to Be in Writing?

Yes, in most cases, a notice of separation has to be in writing. However, some states may allow for separation notices to be sent electronically.

Does a Separation Notice Mean You Were Fired?

No. Separation Notices are required regardless of the reason for separation, so they must be provided in both voluntary and involuntary separations regardless of the reason.

Does a Separation Notice Affect Future Employment?

Providing a written separation notice does not have an impact on an employee’s eligibility for rehire since it is required in some situations that could be temporary in nature such as a short-term layoff or leave of absence, or in a situation where an employee quit due to personal reasons and would be a welcome addition if they reapplied in the future. Eligibility for rehire is not required data on most state separation notices, so this would be retained in your HR files for future reference if the employee reapplies.

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