What notices or forms must employers provide to terminating employees in California?

Jan 26, 2016
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Federal laws require some forms and notices to be given to employees upon termination, but California has additional requirements that employers need to be aware of. Although this should not be relied on as an exhaustive list, below are the specific notices or forms we are currently aware of that California employers should provide to terminating employees.

Federal Requirements

  1. For employers with 20 or more employees, a Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) notice and election form needs to be provided to employees who are participating in the employer’s group health plan the day before the termination and to any of the terminating employee’s dependents on the plan.
  2. If termination is due to a layoff or position elimination covered under the WARN Act, notices need to be sent out 60 days prior to termination.
  3. The IRS requires notices to terminating employees within certain time frames to advise them of their rights to retirement benefits.

California Requirements

  1. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) requires employers to provide their unemployment benefits pamphlet, For Your Benefit, DE 2320, to all discharged or laid off employees no later than the effective date of the discharge or layoff.
  2. California Unemployment Insurance Code 1089 requires employers to give a written Notice to Employee as to Change in Relationship form to all discharged or laid off employees immediately upon termination. No written notice is required if it is a voluntary quit, promotion or demotion, change in work assignment or location (some changes in location require a WARN notice), or if work stopped due to a trade dispute.
  3. The Department of Health Care Services requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide the Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) notice, DHCS 9061, to certain employees covered under the program.
  4. Employers must notify any covered, terminated employees of their Cal-COBRA continuation rights. Cal-COBRA must be offered to both terminated employees of small employers (2-19 employees) and terminated employees covered under federal COBRA when their 18 months of federal COBRA coverage expires.
  5. California Labor Code Section 2808(b) requires employers to provide to employees, upon termination, notification of all continuation, disability extension and conversion coverage options under any employer-sponsored coverage for which the employee may remain eligible after employment terminates.
  6. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires certain employers to give affected employees at least 60 days written advance notice of any plant closing or mass layoff.


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