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Termination Letter Due to Poor Performance

An employee that fails to live up to productivity expectations is bad for a company’s bottom line. No matter how careful and detailed the employee selection process, occasionally, an employee with no desire to work can slip through the hiring cracks. A termination letter, along with an exit interview, is the proper way to end the unproductive relationship.

Format and Content

Draft a termination letter due to poor performance very carefully. Mention only the examples you can back with documented proof. Allegations that amount to little more than suspicion should be left out entirely.Use straightforward language and wording that leaves no room for doubt as to the purpose of the letter or the justifications for the termination decision. The letter should include the date of the termination and information about how the employee will receive his or her final paycheck.Include any other information that is relevant to your company and the specific employee.


This sample termination letter is written to an employee who has failed to meet any of the performance goals he agreed to when hired. He is reminded of the measures the company took to help him improve his performance over the course of a 6-month period. The Executive Director discourages the employee from filing a wrongful termination lawsuit by reminding him that he signed all performance expectations, the PIP and the letters of reprimand in his file.

Dear Steven,

This letter is to inform you that, effective today May 30, 2013;you are being dismissed from Star Marketing Services. Your dismissal is due to poor performance over a 6-month period. The specifics that led to this decision are detailed below.

When you were hired,your manager discussed the company’s performance expectations with you. These expectations were presented to you again during your orientation, at which time, you signed a confirmation stating you read and understood these expectations.

During your time with Star Marketing Services, you have failed to meet every performance measure. After 4 weeks of employment, you were offered additional coaching which you turn down. At the 8-week mark of your employment with this company, you were performing at a rate of less than 50% of your coworkers in a similar position and in the same department.

To prevent this final step your manager developed a performance improvement plan (PIP) that included your input and was approved by you in writing. During the term of this plan, your performance declined further and was documented by 3 letters of reprimand. You were apprised of and signed each letter. Over the course of your employment with our company, we have received 7 customer complaints about your handling of their accounts, including missed appointments, a failure to follow through on promises, and incorrect billing.

You will be paid for any unused vacation or sick days that you have accrued. This payment, if any, will be included with your final paycheck. You may choose to have this paycheck mailed to your home address or you may call me at (555)-555-5555 to arrange to pick the check up at our security desk.

We are enclosing information concerning your eligibility under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) for continued coverage by group health insurance. Please make sure we had your current address on file so that we may send you your W-2 form.


Lisa White

Ms. Lisa White, Executive Director

Star Marketing Services