Employment letters:  What They Do And How They Should Be Drafted | Criminal Defence Articles by Tushar K. Pain

A letter of employment is typically used at a sentencing hearing. It is obviously used to prove your employment status and income level. But it does more than that. It conveys to the court that you are a contributing and responsible member of society, that you are a person of means, that you have obligations, that you have a future, and that you have ties to the community. For some people a letter of employment can mean the difference between going to jail or being allowed to remain within the community.

While a properly drafted letter can make a good impression, a poorly drafted letter can be worse than no letter at all. It can create doubt about its authenticity and create a negative impression about you and your credibility.

Here are some guidelines for drafting an effective letter of employment:

– The letter should be on an original sheet of company letterhead.
– The letter should be from your boss or supervisor.
– The letter should be typed, dated, and signed in blue ink.
– The letter should state the author’s name and telephone number (with extension, if any).
– If possible, the letter should start with, “To The Honourable Court:”, if it is for sentencing.
– The letter should state when you were hired, your position, a description of your responsibilities, your salary, and your work schedule.
– If possible, the letter should contain a statement of appreciation about you or your work.
– You should provide the original copy to your lawyer.

135 Broad Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2H5
Tel: (416) 555-3233
Fax: (416) 555-3234

August 31, 2003

To The Honourable Court:

This is to confirm that Jack Covey is employed at my restaurant as a full-time cook. He was hired in 1999. He started out as a busboy and slowly worked his way into the kitchen. Jack started in the kitchen by washing dishes and then moved up to preparing the salads. He is now a cook. He earns $15 per hour and works forty hours per week.

Jack is an extremely hard worker and his cooking is greatly appreciated by many of our customers. He gets along well with everyone at the restaurant.

Yours truly,
Fred J. Martins