Employment separation can take several forms. There are positive types such as an employee who reaches retirement age and leaves the company. Or another who takes a job elsewhere. Then there are the negative types such as when a company is forced to lay off dozens of staff because of financial difficulties or when an employee is dismissed for cause. If you’re an employer, you know that letting employees go is one of the toughest parts of the job. Choosing the right words is never easy, no matter the reason for the departure.
But regardless of separation type, when an employee leaves the company, some states require employers to provide them with a formal separation notice.
What Is a Separation Notice?
A general separation notice is a written communication from an employer or an employee saying that the employment relationship is ending. A two weeks’ notice email from an employee telling their manager that they are resigning is a separation notice as is a communication from a CEO for an upcoming employee separation such as a layoff. (To help if you’re in this spot, Paycor offers a free, customizable separation notice template.)
However, separation notices aren’t always informal or optional: 18 states have specific forms to complete when an employee leaves the company, and two states require posters advising employees of their unemployment rights to be clearly displayed in a common area.
These formal notices are all about making it easy for employees to access unemployment benefits. They lay out the steps an employee must take to receive benefits and require that employers provide all the necessary details. Pro tip: Use our termination checklist to make sure you say and do everything required at separation.
State Requirements for Separation Notices
To help your team keep track of the latest separation notice requirements, we’ve created this breakdown by state.
|State||Separation Notice Requirements||Separation Notice Template Form|
|Arizona||All employees who become unemployed must be given a printed statement detailing how they can file for unemployment benefits.|
The easiest way to do this is to print and distribute Form UIB-1241A.
|Form UIB-1241A — Take|
Care of Unemployment
Business by Telephone
|California||All employees who are discharged, laid off, take a leave of absence, or have a similar change in their employment status must be given immediate written notice, along with Form DE 2320.|
This isn’t required in the case of voluntary termination or if work is stopped due to a labor dispute.
|Form DE 2320 — For Your Benefit, California’s Program for the Unemployed|
Form DHCS 9061 — Notice to Terminating Employees, HIPP Program
|Connecticut||Regardless of the reason for separation, all departing employees must be provided with Form UC-61, “Unemployment Separation Packet/Notice.” If distributing this form in person is impossible, it can be mailed to the last known address.|
Employees must also provide employees with a copy of their termination notice and inform employees that they can submit a written statement disagreeing with its content. This documentation must be kept on file.
|Form UC-61 —Unemployment Separation Packet/Notice|
|Georgia||Regardless of the reason for separation, employers must complete form DOL-800.|
This form must be delivered to the employee, signed and dated on an employee’s last day of work or, if this isn’t possible, mailed to their last known address within three days.
|Form DOL-800 — Separation Notice|
|Illinois||Employers must provide Form CLI111L to all employees separated from employment for seven or more days.|
The form must be delivered on an employee’s last day or sent to their last known address within 5 days.
|Form CLI111L —What Every Worker Should Know About Unemployment Insurance|
|Iowa||When an employee leaves or refuses employment and the employer believes they are not qualified for unemployment benefits, the employer must complete a Notice of Separation form, 60‑0154. The Notice of Separation can also be filed online at https://uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/EmployerSeparation.||Form 60-0154 — Notice of Separation or Refusal of Work Under Conditions That May Disqualify|
|Louisiana||Regardless of the reason for separation, employers must file (online only) a separation notice within three days of the date of separation.|
This documentation includes an explanation of the cause of separation and details of payments made to the employee.
|Form LWC-77 — Separation Notice|
|Maryland||Employers must provide separated employees a notice of unemployment availability.||Employer Letter or Email to an Employee about the Availability of Unemployment Compensation|
|Massachusetts||All employees separated from work, whether temporary or permanent, must be provided with Form 0590-A. This form must be delivered in person or sent to the employee’s last known address as soon as possible and within 30 days of separation.||Form 0590-A — How to File a Claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits|
|Michigan||Form UIA 1711 must be provided at the time of separation unless employers are filing claims on behalf of the employee.|
This is not necessary if a copy of the form has been previously delivered to the employee or if a written statement, detailing the equivalent information, is provided.
|Form UIA 1711 — Unemployment Compensation Notice to Employee|
|Mississippi||Employers must have an unemployment law poster clearly visible to employees.||MDES Communication 033120|
|Missouri||Employers must provide separating employees with Form M-INF-288-5.||Form M-INF-288-5|
|Nevada||Notice DETR-ESD must be provided to all departing employees.||Notice DETR-ESD — Employer Notification to Employees of the Availability of Unemployment Compensation|
|New Jersey||Regardless of the reason for separation, all employees who will be separated from employment for at least 7 days must be provided with Form BC-10. This form must be provided at the time of separation.||Form BC-10 — Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Benefits|
|New York||All employers subject to the state’s unemployment law must inform employees of their right to apply for unemployment benefits.|
Regardless of the reason for separation, Form IA 12.3 must be completed for all employees who will be separated from employment for an expected period of more than 3 days.
|Form IA 12.3 — Record of Employment|
|Pennsylvania||All employers must notify separating employees of the availability of unemployment compensation. Form UC-1609 details the various pieces of information that must be provided.||Form UC-1609, Employer Information|
|Rhode Island||All employers must provide notice to separating employees of the availability of unemployment compensation at the time of the employee’s separation from employment.||Sample notice language|
|South Carolina||All employers must provide separating employees with a “Notice of the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits.” This documentation can be provided in person, by mail, by text message, or email.||Notice of the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits|
|Tennessee||Within 1 day of separation, employers must provide departing employees with Form LB-0489, unless the employee has been employed less than a week or will be recalled within a week.|
Employers must complete Form LB-0489, unless they have separately arranged to submit the date and cause of separation electronically, with a mail-in claim or a mass separation notice.
|Form LB-0489 — Separation Notice|
This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal information or advice. This information and all HR Support Center materials are provided in consultation with federal and state statutes and do not encompass other regulations that may exist, such as local ordinances. Transmission of documents or information through the HR Support Center does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.
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