Can you write a termination letter via email? In short, you probably shouldn’t, and your employment contract probably prohibits it. In any agreement, it’s going to state how you can terminate a contract. It could be either for-cause, without-cause, mutual termination, or maybe the initial term ends. But in most cases, I mean most contracts are terminated via without-cause termination. Without-cause termination means either party can terminate the contract at any time with a certain amount of notice to the other. Usually, for most employment agreements, around 30 to 90 days is the average amount.
What Are the Best Actions to Take if You Want to End Your Contract With Your Employer?
Suppose you are an employee and, for whatever reason, you don’t want to work for the employer anymore. In that case, you need to follow the terms without-cause termination notice. And it always needs to be written. It’s going to state it must be written. And then, it will also say if it’s a 60-day without-cause termination, you have to provide it 60 days prior. You work out those next 60 days, and after the 60 days are over with, then the contract terminates. You’re free to move on to where you want to go after that, considering the non-compete or a non-solicit, but we’re not going to get into that today.
In an Email Considered Written Notice?
Yes, an email can be considered as written notice in most circumstances. Courts and legal systems generally recognize emails as valid written communications, provided that they are sent with the intention of conveying information or delivering a notice to the recipient. However, it is important to note that certain situations or agreements may require specific methods of communication or additional formalities, such as physical signatures or certified mail. To ensure compliance with any applicable requirements, always consult the relevant legal documents, contracts, or guidelines before relying solely on email as a form of written notice.
What Is Considered an Effective Notice?
Now, the following section you have to look at, and the most crucial part as far as this goes is it’s going to be called notice or notices.
And it’s usually toward the back of the employment agreement. This is going to state. This is who and how you need to provide notice if there is communication. In there, it will note that I have to provide in writing a certified letter overnight hand delivery of whatever termination notice you will provide. And that would then be considered adequate notice.
Is Email an Effective Notice Medium?
Very few contracts allow email as an effective notice medium. If you gave, let’s say, you wrote an email telling your employer I’m giving you a without-cause termination notice. I have 60 days, X will be my last day of work, and I appreciate the opportunity. Well, if the email is not an effective communication medium within that notice section, that’s not considered effective notice. And then, the employer could make you work for another 60 days until you provide adequate notice. So, that’s an essential part. You need to look in the notices section and determine if an email is a proper way to terminate the agreement. I can tell you if I review a hundred contracts, 98 of them will not include email or fax.
Contract Termination Letter
A contract termination letter is a formal document used to inform a party that their services or contractual obligations are no longer required, effective from a specified date. This letter should clearly state the reason for termination and ensure compliance with any notice periods stipulated in the original agreement. While expressing gratitude for the services provided, it is essential to maintain a professional tone and provide any necessary information or instructions for the termination process. A well-written contract termination letter can help maintain good business relationships while bringing contractual obligations to an orderly and amicable conclusion.
Considerations for an Effective Notice
And you certainly can’t just verbally tell your employer you’re leaving. It must be in writing. And most often, it has to be sent either by certified mail or hand-delivered. Now, depending on whether you work for a small practice or a giant conglomerate that has locations in every state, it’ll be impossible to hand-deliver the notice if you must provide notice to the headquarters that’s halfway across the country.
So, to be safe for the most part, you need to write the letter; you’ll have to print it out and send it via certified mail to whoever you desire to send it. Usually, it’s one or two. In a smaller practice, you must send it to the owner. If it’s a big conglomerate, you have to send it to probably your boss plus the legal apartment of the company as well.
What Happens if You Send a Not Considered Effective Notice?
If you kind of look through, how much notice do, I have to provide? And then how do I have to provide adequate notice? You will be safe. I have a couple of scenarios, and people have called me after the fact. And they’ll say I sent an email to my boss. I told them I was going to terminate the contract, and they didn’t say anything. I just assumed that my contract would end on a specific date. And the employer was mad that the employee was leaving. They were ticked off that they were leaving. So, what they did was they just sat on it for 45 days. And then, 15 days before the physician thought he was going to leave, they said, you didn’t provide us with effective notice.
Email is not an effective form of communication to provide notice. You owe us another 60 days until you give us effective notice, meaning a written letter sent via certified mail. And so, the physician had already lined up another job, he had a start date in mind, and then he had to go back to the new employer and say, I apologize. Still, I will have to delay my start date by almost two months. And that was a tough pill to swallow for the physician. So, if you follow the terms of the notice section, then you should be okay.
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What Should be in a Physician Contract Termination Letter?
What should be in the termination letter? When a physician decides to leave a position, I find that many physicians feel like the termination letter would be a good place to air their grievances. These are all the reasons I’m leaving all the things that happened that I don’t appreciate. These are the things that led to me deciding to terminate the contract.
Proper Venue to Air Grievances
The termination letter is not the place to do that. Suppose a physician believes that the employer is not following through on the terms of a contract. In that case, they should inform them in writing that the employer is in breach. Generally, most contracts will have a cure period, which will give the party a certain amount of time to fix whatever the problems are. So that would be the appropriate place to air the grievances.
Without Cause Termination in Contract Termination Letter
In the termination letter, there should only be two things. If the person is terminating the contract, it will likely be without-cause. That means nothing has happened that can give either party the ability to terminate the agreement immediately. Nearly every physician contract has without-cause termination. And that means that either party can terminate the contract with a certain amount of notice to the other party. 60, 90 days is the industry standard.
Sometimes it can be as low as 30 and as high as 180, but 60 or 90 is the average amount. The physician in the termination letter should cite the specific section of the contract. I am giving you 90 days’ notice; my last date of employment should be on this date. And then, the physician must ensure that the termination letter follows what would be called a notices section.
How Do Physicians Send Effective Notice?
So, in any physician contract, there should be a section called either notice or notices, something like that, that states how the physician can give effective notice, meaning who and how you properly send some notice. And in that section, it will say that these are the ways that you can give proper notice. It could be certified mail, hand delivery, email, or fax. However, most places do not allow emails or faxes. It’s either some registered accredited letter through the post office. Almost all of them accept hand delivery in some way. Then, they will list where and to whom the termination letter needs to be sent.
If it’s a small physician-owned practice, then it will likely be the owner of the practice. And then, the address would be the address of the practice. Suppose it’s a large corporation, hospital, health network, or something. In that case, you will have to send a copy to the CEO or COO and to whoever their general counsel is.
What Happens If You Failed To Give Proper Notice?
I’ve had a couple of situations where I’ve had someone contact me after the fact that they failed to give proper notice. They either told their boss or sent an email and the employer sat on it for 30 days. They didn’t say anything to the physician. And then, they returned to them 30 days later, saying, Dr. Smith, you did not give us proper notice. Therefore you owe us another 60, 90 days after you give us proper notice.
They did that because they were mad at the physician. They knew it would likely screw his next job opportunity and the start date. So, the physician must make sure that they’re following: one, what’s in the without-cause termination section, and then two, what’s in the notices section of the contract.
To summarize, the termination letter is not a place to list all of the physician’s problems. You thank them for your time. You tell them the termination section you rely on to terminate the contract. Then you’re going to send it to the place listed in the notices section. And that’s it. There’s absolutely no value in putting anything more than that.
Every day, I deal with physicians who either have new employment contracts that need to be reviewed or are on a current contract that they need to analyze. And usually due to wanting to terminate the agreement. Like the base level question, one frequent question is whether you can break a physician’s contract. I think defining break is probably the essential part of that. So, can you break a physician’s contract? If we’re meaning, can I breach a contract, not following through on the terms of the agreement? Sure, you can.
But then you would open yourself up to liability. You could be sued, and litigation could begin. If there’s an arbitration clause, then it could go to arbitration. The employer could come after you for damages, recruitment fees for a new physician, lost revenue from you, or extra admin fees if there’s no physician to support.
Can an Employee Terminate an Employment Contract? | Employment Contracts Termination
The short answer is, obviously, yes. However, it will be determined based on the terms of the contract. In any employment contract, there will be a section that deals with the times, the employment contract’s length, and then termination, so how that contract ends. Let’s first talk about the terms of the agreement.
Most employment contracts will have a date, meaning it’s a year-long, two-year, or three-year contract. Then if the agreement doesn’t terminate, it will state a language. It will automatically renew for successive one-year terms. In that case, if a contract isn’t closed in another way after the initial period ends, it’ll just continue forever until terminated.
I would say there is a rarely fixed term with no language about automatic termination. If it’s just a two-year fixed term with no automatic renewal, it would just end at the end of two years, and that would be it. The parties can go their ways.
What Are the Reasons for Contract Termination?
Now, regarding terminating the contract, the first part is that if there is no renewal, it ends, and the employment contract ends. Second, by mutual agreement. Suppose the employer and the employee agree that the relationship isn’t working. In that case, they can always, by contract, decide to move on, and then that’s it, you can move on. Next would be with-cause termination. In this case, if someone breaches the employment contract, there’ll be language that states why the employer can fire the employee. If you need a license to perform the activity and lose your license, or if insurance is required and you’re uninsurable. There are, I guess, vague behavioral clauses.
If you’re disabled, you die, I mean, ordinary things, but there should also be a part called a cure. And so, in that case, if one of the parties believes the other party is in breach of an employment contract, the most common reason is just payment concerns. Either someone is unpaid, they were promised an amount in the associate employment agreement, or maybe the timing. Also, the bonus payment is involved, and there is disagreement over the professional owed amount. That’s always a big, I guess, reason why there would be an allegation of breach of contract.
What Happens if Breach of Contract Is Committed?
If you believe the employer breached an employment contract, you’d have to provide them with written notice. And then the cure period means the employer would have a period to fix whatever the breach of associate contract is. Typically, that’s somewhere between 15 to 30 days. And the same can go for an employee.
If the employer thinks the employee is in breach of contract, they give them written notice, and then the employee has 15 to 30 days to fix the breach. If the breach is unfixed, the other party still believes the other party is in breach. Usually, that party has the option to terminate the dental associate agreements immediately. The last and most common way in most employment contracts is without-cause termination. There’ll be language that states that either party can terminate the employment agreement at any time, for any reason, with a certain amount of notice to the other party.
Typically, it would be somewhere between 30 to 90 days. Suppose the professional is unhappy and wants to move on. In that case, they give written notice saying I’m utilizing the without-cause termination notice in the employment contract. Then they must work out for 30, 60, or 90 days. Then at the end of that period, they can move on without any concerns regarding terminating the employment contract. Yes, an employee can terminate an employment contract, but they must follow the terms of the agreement.
Employment Contract Termination and Non-Compete Law
Just because an employee terminates, the contract doesn’t mean it necessarily ultimately ends at that point. They could be required of the employee if they terminate the contract. Many times, if given a signing bonus or relocation assistance, The employee would have to pay back a prorated portion of that if they left within the initial term of the employment agreement. Others could have non-compete associated with it.
So, just because an employee terminates the contract doesn’t mean that the non-compete doesn’t apply. It does, or at least it does in most circumstances if you’re in a state where non-competes are enforceable. How long will that last if there is a geographic restriction and then some temporary condition? That will continue even if the employee terminates the contract. If some malpractice insurance is involved and tail insurance is needed, it will say who must pay for that in the contract. Employees may also be responsible for that if they terminate the agreement. Although the employee can terminate the employment agreement, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t at least some strings attached.
One of the highest priority things I look at in the contract when I’m going over it with a professional. How do you get out of the agreement? And then what do you have to do if it ends within a certain period? In that way, the employee can know that I need to set aside this amount of money if I must pay for tail insurance or if I must pay back the signing bonus. So, they’re essential discussions and things employees could negotiate before signing any employment agreement. Hopefully, that was helpful—kind of an overview of termination of an employment contract.
Contract Agreement Termination
You probably shouldn’t, and your employment contract probably prohibits it. In any agreement, it’s going to state how you can terminate an agreement. It could be for-cause, without-cause, mutual termination, or maybe the initial term ends. But in most cases, I mean most contracts are terminated without-cause termination. Without-cause termination, either party can terminate the contract with a certain amount of notice to the other. Typically, around 30 to 90 days is a standard amount for most employment agreements. Suppose you are an employee, and for whatever reason, you don’t want to work for the employer anymore. In that case, you must follow those terms written on the without-cause termination notice.
And it always needs to be written. It’s going to state that you must write a letter. And then, it will also say if it’s a 60-day without-cause termination. The employee has to provide it 60 days prior, work it out, and after the 60 days are over. The employees are free to go once the contract terminates, and the employees are free to move on. They want to go where they want to go after that—considering if there’s a non-compete or a non-solicit. Still, we’re not going to get into that today.
How Do Employees Communicate a Notice?
The most crucial part as far as this goes is that it will be called “notice” or “notices.” It’s toward the back of the employment agreement initially provided by the company. And this will state who, then how you need to provide notice if there is communication.An employee could provide in writing a certified letter or overnight hand delivery of whatever termination notice you’re going to provide. And that would then be considered adequate notice.
Very few contracts allow email as an effective notice medium. If you gave, let’s say, you wrote an email telling your employer. I’m giving you without-cause termination notice, and I have 60 days. X will be my last day of work. I appreciate the opportunity. Well, if the email is not an effective communication medium within that notice section, that’s not considered effective notice. And then, the employer could make you work for another 60 days until you provide adequate notice. So, that’s the essential part. You need to look in the notices section and determine if the proper way to terminate the employment agreement includes email.
I can tell you if I review a hundred employment contracts, 98 of them will not include email or fax. And you certainly can’t just verbally tell your employer you’re leaving. It must be in writing. And most often, it has to be sent either by certified mail or hand-delivered. It depends on whether you work for a small practice or a vast conglomerate with locations in every state. It’ll be impossible to hand-deliver the notice if you must provide notice to the headquarters, and that’s halfway across the country. To be safe for the most part, you need to write a letter.
The Consequence of Notice Not Received
You’ll have to print it out and send it via certified mail that the employer is using. Usually, it’s one or two. You must send it to the owner if it’s a smaller practice. If it’s a big conglomerate, you have to send it to probably your boss plus the legal apartment of the company as well. If you look through, how much notice do I have to provide? And then how do I have to provide effective notice? You’ll be safe.
I have a couple of scenarios, and people have called me after the fact. And they’ll say I sent a letter to my employer’s email. I told them I was going to terminate the employment contract, and they didn’t say anything. I assumed that my contract would end on a specific date. The employer was mad about the employee leaving the company. The employer ticked off that they were leaving. So, what they did was they just sat on it for 45 days. And then, 15 days before the physician thought he was going to leave, they said, you didn’t provide us with effective notice.
Email isn’t an effective form of communication to provide notice. You owe us another 60 days until you give us adequate notice, meaning a written letter sent via certified mail. And so, the physician had already lined up another job, he had a start date in mind, and then he had to return to the new employer. He would say, I apologize; I will have to delay my start date by almost two months. That was a tough pill to swallow for the physician. If you follow the terms of the notice section, then you should be okay.
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