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Q&A: What is the technical or otherwise common definition of an employee’s termination date?

Question:

What is the technical or otherwise common definition of an employee’s termination date? Is it the date the on which the termination occurs or the last date the employee performed work?

Answer from Monica, SPHR, SHRM-CP:

Typically, the termination date is the day that the actual termination occurred. It may or may not coincide with the final day of work, depending on the circumstances.

For example, many companies have a no-call, no-show provision in their attendance policy (e.g., three days of no-call, no-show will result in termination), after which an employee is terminated based on job abandonment. In such a scenario, the date of termination is after the third day of no-call, no-show, which does not coincide with the employee’s last day of work. Alternatively, the employer or employee may give advance notice, as is often the case when employees are simply moving on in their career or the employer is conducting a layoff. In that case, the termination date is the employee’s final day of work.

If an employee files for unemployment, the unemployment agency may request both the employee’s last date of work and the termination date. If this request isn’t made and the termination day and last workday are not the same, we still recommend providing both dates in response to the unemployment claim.

Monica, SPHR, SHRM-CP

Monica, SPHR, SHRM-CP

Monica has held roles as an HR Generalist and Payroll and Benefits manager at a large ski resort, providing HR guidance to more than 500 employees. She also has HR experience in the healthcare field and the non-profit world. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College.

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