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Wrongful Termination Letter

An employee who believes he or she has been wrongfully terminated has the right to seek a remedy in the legal system. Before doing so, it is often to the employee’s advantage to send the company a certified wrongful termination letter, addressed to a person of authority that details his or her position on the termination itself.

Format and Content

Draft the letter carefully, using a polite, professional tone and wording that conveys your argument without being insulting or threatening. Use the first paragraph of the letter to explain your purpose for writing, followed by the facts, presented in a logical order. This letter may be used as proof that you tried to resolve the matter before taking legal action. Therefore, it is vital that you proofread the letter before sending. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a good idea to have an attorney proofread the wrongful termination letter format, as well. Send the letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested.


The employee in this wrongful termination letter sample believes she was fired for refusing to obey an order that violated company policies and the ethics oath she took as professional researcher. She uses her reputation, her work history and the references of others as the basis to present her case. She indicates her belief that the false allegations are a direct threat to her professional reputation, and therefore her livelihood.

Dear Mrs. Swanson,

On September 5, 2013, I was terminated from Smith and Riley on the grounds of insubordination. I was fired without notice and escorted from the building after a brief meeting with Tom Smith, the human resources manager. I was told the insubordination charge was based upon a poor attitude and a refusal to follow management requests. I received a termination letter that repeated this reasoning in writing.

I have worked in corporate research for over 15 years. During that time, I have established a solid reputation of honesty and integrity in the industry. My work ethic has never been questioned and I have been complemented on my positive attitude by many supervisors and coworkers, including my manager Alicia Jones. In fact, on my last employee evaluation, I received a rating of excellent in all categories.

On August 25, 2013, I was instructed to do a research study on Myers West Incorporated. Ms. Jones informed me that the company had emerged as one of our strongest competitors. I completed the research study as directed and turned it into Ms. Jones before my deadline. On September 4, 2013, Ms. Jones returned my report and informed me that it was not detailed enough. I reminded her that Myers West is a private company and the amount of public information available on the company is very limited.

To combat this, I was instructed by Ms. Jones to call the company pretending to be a potential client. She stated it would be an excellent way to get the pricing information that was missing from my report. I told Ms. Jones that her request was a clear ethical violation of the Professional Researcher’s Code of Conduct and of the company’s ethics policy. She dismissed my objection and told me I was to use ‘any and all means’ to get the needed information.

When I told Ms. Jones that I would go back over the public data available on the company instead, she angrily walked away from my desk. The next day I was terminated.Although our conversation was not recorded, it was overheard by several other employees. I have contacted these employees and with their permission, recorded the conversations. For their protection, I will not be releasing their names at this time.

I respectfully request that my termination be reviewed immediately. I have worked very hard to establish myself in this industry and I refuse to have my reputation marred by untrue allegations or an unjustified termination. I ask that you respond to this letter within 3 business days. If I do not hear from you, I will be forced to take other steps to remedy the situation.


Annie Cates

Annie Cates