Q: could an employee retaliate against this letter of termination?
I am writing to you to let you know that effective immediately January 2nd, 2020, I am scaling down operations indefinitely. This has been a difficult decision, but after many weeks of reflection on what I expect and hope for it has become increasingly difficult to balance the needs of the customers, the employees and the long term strategic direction for this business.
It is with deepest regret that I inform you that your position, among several others, is one that will be eliminated effective January 2nd, 2020.
I need the time to reimagine what I think is and should be and thus what kind of an operation needs to be built to make the long term business a sustainable success. Frankly, at this point I am not sure there is a long term plan for the business, but I know that continuing to try to adapt the business during these uncertain times is extremely stressful and not sustainable economically for me.
You will be paid though your last days worked.
A: Yes, anything is possible. If the employee being terminated believes the content of the letter is untrue and is rather a pretext for an unlawful motive for termination, the employee could bring a lawsuit for that unlawful termination. If the employee believes they are owed money at the time of the termination, a lawsuit could ensue as well. In short, even the most well-crafted termination letter can still result in a lawsuit by an employee motivated to bring one. It is for this reason that a prudent employer will consult with experienced employment law counsel before taking such action.
Good luck to you.
A: I agree with Mr. Pedersen, he is a very wise Employee rights attorney. From my perspective, less is better. Your letter appears to be written from the heart and has pathos for the negative effect this will have on your employees. While this is admirable, if you were my client, I would counsel that including matter in the letter that can be misconstrued by an unhappy former employee is not in your best interest. "No good deed goes unpunished." So your expression of empathy provides fodder for someone to use against you. I am sorry to say that this is true, but it is the reality of employment litigation. Be extremely cautious about any of the parts of your letter that use the word "I."
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