What Should be in a Veterinary Associate Termination Letter?
What needs to be in a termination letter for a veterinarian who’s employed at a veterinary practice? The short answer is it needs to be direct and really doesn’t actually need to include too much. To start off though, first, you need to know if you can terminate your contract, if it has to be for cause or without cause, and you’re going to start with your employment agreement. There’s normally, or there should be, and you should always look for this before you sign an employment agreement, a without cause termination. And what that means is you can have a cause, or you can have no cause at all. And you don’t have to disclose that when you terminate your employment with the veterinary practice. Normally, there is a notice provision in there that states that you must give the employer anywhere from 60 to 90 days’ notice that you will be ending your employment agreement.
There’s also going to be a clause in your employment agreement itself that normally states how to give proper notice. So, where are you going to be turning that termination letter into, is it a person? Do you have to mail it, hand-deliver it, or email it? Every contract should have a notice clause, however, they’re all vastly different. So again, read that employment agreement and it’s going to tell you how to turn in that letter and the consequences towards the payment of compensation after the contract is terminated. Now, most of the time, I would say that it has to be in writing. Sometimes you can email it, sometimes you can hand deliver it. You also want to be careful if it does state that you have to mail in your termination letter. Normally, there’s an address where to send it, and even sometimes there’s more than one address. So, you want to be careful. Also, it will explain to you if your notice starts the day, you mail your letter, or if you have to count anywhere from one to three days before your notice starts.
This is important. You should read this before you write your termination letter because in the termination letter, all it should state is that you are terminating your employment, this is you giving you proper notice, and that your last day will be, and then you can fill that in. If you want to thank them for all of their support and opportunities, you can, but really only what’s required is that it’s in writing that you are notifying them that you’re going to terminate this agreement. It’s also helpful sometimes if you want to let them know that you will assist them with the transition to a new veterinarian, but all situations are kind of different, depending on your relationship with them.
If you’re ending in bad circumstances, maybe the most direct route is the best route. You do want to make sure though, that you are giving proper notice for the full time. Sometimes we have clients call who need to give a shorter notice than what’s required under the employment agreement. It can be a little stressful because you could technically be in breach of your contract. So, if you ever need to give a shorter notice than you’ve agreed to give, you may want to consult an attorney or our office. We can also assist with that. So again, just to reiterate, the employment agreement if you’re terminating, it needs to be done how it’s written in the contract. And normally it’s in writing. You need to state that you are terminating your employment, you are giving notice, and that your last day, whenever that will be.
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