What Notices Or Forms Must Employers Provide To Terminate Employees In California?

Photo of author

By Jacob Maslow

If you’re an employer in California and about to terminate an employee, you must be aware of the notices and forms you must provide them. This ensures that you comply with state labor laws and protect both your business and your employees’ rights. 

When terminating an employee in California, you must provide them with a final paycheck that includes all wages owed and unused vacation time. You must also give them a Notice of Termination, informing them of the reason for their termination and any relevant information about their benefits. 

Let’s take a look at these requirements in detail.

Final Paycheck Requirements

California’s final paycheck must include all wages earned up to the termination date, including any unused vacation or paid time off. The employer can pay the final wages by mail or in person, but it’s recommended to do so in person to avoid any potential mailing delays or disputes.

If the employee had any accrued vacation or paid time off, the employer must also provide a written notice detailing the unused vacation or paid time off and the rate at which it was earned. This notice should be given to the employee along with their final paycheck.

Notice of Termination

Upon termination, California employers are required to give employees a written notice. This notice must include the effective date of termination and the reasons for the termination, if applicable. The notice should also inform the employee of their right to request a copy of any documents related to their employment and their right to inspect and copy their personnel records.

Additionally, the notice should inform the employee of their right to file for unemployment benefits and provide information on how to do so. Employers must also inform employees of any continuation, conversion, or extension of benefits they may be eligible for.

The written notice must be provided in either English or the language the employee understands and must be personally delivered or sent by certified or registered mail. If the employee requests a copy of their personnel records, the employer must provide the records within 30 calendar days of the request.

Employers need to comply with these notice requirements to ensure that employees know their rights and avoid any potential legal issues. By providing a clear and concise written notice, employers can help facilitate a smoother termination process for both parties involved.

California COBRA Notification

When terminating employment in California, organizations must inform their employees about the California COBRA notification. This notification outlines their rights to continue their health insurance coverage. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), employees and their dependents may be eligible to keep their health insurance coverage for a limited period after job loss or certain other qualifying events.

California state law requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide a written notice to terminated employees regarding their COBRA rights. This notice must be provided within 14 days of the termination date. It’s important to include specific information such as the employee’s eligibility for COBRA coverage, the cost of the coverage, how to enroll, and the deadline for enrollment. Employers should also inform employees that failure to enroll within the specified timeframe may result in losing coverage.

Employers can provide the COBRA notification by mail or electronically as long as the method is reasonably calculated to reach the terminated employee. It’s recommended to keep a record of the notice sent, including the date and method of delivery, to demonstrate compliance with the law.

Exit Interviews and Surveys

Exit interviews and surveys give employers valuable insights into the experiences and feedback of departing employees. Conducting these interviews or surveys allows employers to gather information about the reasons for an employee’s departure, their overall satisfaction with the company, and any suggestions they may have for improvement. It provides a platform for employees to express their thoughts and feelings before leaving the organization.

During an exit interview, an employer may ask questions about the employee’s time with the company, their relationship with supervisors and coworkers, and their opinion on company policies and procedures. This information can help employers identify areas to improve to retain future employees. It also allows them to address any concerns or issues the departing employee raises.

Surveys can be another effective method for gathering feedback from departing employees. Employers can distribute online or paper surveys to departing employees, asking them to rate their experience and provide additional comments. These surveys can cover various topics, such as work environment, job satisfaction, and growth opportunities.

By conducting exit interviews and surveys, employers can gain valuable insights that can be used to make positive changes within the organization and improve employee satisfaction and retention. It shows a commitment to continuous improvement and maintaining a positive work environment.


In conclusion, as an employer in California, it’s crucial to provide terminating employees with the necessary notices and forms. This includes their final paycheck and a written notice of termination.

By fulfilling these obligations, you can uphold your legal responsibilities and maintain positive relationships with your employees even during their departure.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos