The boss tried to refuse to accept an employee’s resignation, the employee shared the ridiculous messages online

The essence of any employment contract comes down to the rights, duties and rules that the employee and the employer agree on. And if something needs to be changed, both must agree to it.

But there are some things that can be done unilaterally, without the other party agreeing, given that certain (often minimal) conditions are met. This includes, among other things, abandonment.

However, some employers still try to play the objection! card and insist on refusing to comply with the employee’s request to leave the company, despite all the conditions being met.

One such story recently surfaced on Reddit, sparking reactions and discussions.

More info: original message | Update 1 | Update 2

Quitting a job is something employers can’t really do much about, but that never stops them from trying, even if it’s just a matter of formally saying “no.”

Image credits: Cytonn Photography (not the actual photo)

The story goes that this one Redditor tried to quit his job. The job is in a medical office, entry-level position, unlicensed, or similar. But instead of answers like “oh, that’s too bad, when do you plan to leave?” or “how come? Is this something we can help and improve?”, they were hit with a “no”. Not in that specific wording, but certainly in his spirit.

OP shared a screenshot of the employer’s response after his official resignation. The employer claimed that OP had in fact agreed to stay with the company for one year from March 2022. OP was surprised to learn of this stipulation, and they agreed to no such thing, so they immediately contacted a friend who is fluent in legalese for help.

A Redditor shared how their resignation was not accepted by the employer, despite not really having a legal basis, while making it look like they are.

Image credits: WorthlessFloor

Both read all the documents signed by OP and there was no indication that they had to work during that particular time. The employer however noted that this stipulation had been agreed upon during the interview.

Anyway, OP came back saying they couldn’t stay until March because they had been hired by another employer from February. Given that they were an “employee at will” and had met the 4 week notice requirement, their departure was inevitable at this point. Oh, and they stayed polite.

The employee provided a polite response, explaining that he is not really obligated, let alone obligated, to meet the employer’s requirements.

Image credits: WorthlessFloor

Image credits: WorthlessFloor

That didn’t stop the employer from pulling more tricks up their sleeve, confirming that they were in fact right about the whole employee at will and there was no penalty part. legal, but leaving without staying there for a year “will judge [them] as ineligible to be rehired” and it may also affect their future employment opportunities if someone contacts the company for a reference.

bored panda contacted OP, who provided more context and perspective on the issue:

“I don’t think they want to keep me on board had anything to do with me, in a way. The company has a high turnover rate. This is an entry-level position range designed as a stepping stone for people looking to pursue higher education and work in the medical field.

“That combined with the fact that they pay poorly, people obviously don’t like to stay very long. I imagine my boss was told he had to keep people on for at least a year and that he didn’t have the freedom to make changes that would encourage people to want to stay.

To top it off, they were also named Employee of the Year, which in light of all of the above was just a coincidence, but they explained that those two communication streams weren’t linked.

Image credits: WorthlessFloor

Given all of this tension, it was surprising to see another, yet final, update to this story. OP shared another screenshot of an email congratulating them on becoming employee of the year. Seems like a case of mixed signals, but OP clarified in our interview that these were two separate, uncoordinated streams of communication and therefore not a deliberate attempt to keep OP on board given the context.

“I think the Employee of the Year thing is genuine. This email ignored my boss and came directly from the CEO. It was given to 6 people in multiple states and came with a bonus. This wouldn’t make sense to me if it was anything other than real, and the trouble I caused probably happened after it was decided and didn’t reach the CEO.

People online were quick to point out the need to read the contract and generate a conversation about how to approach it

After all that, the employer seems to have backed down on the issue. OP explained that there was no further communication after the last congratulatory screenshot on Reddit, but after receiving the February calendar, they noticed they weren’t there. So we can only assume that the employer accepted it.

Image credit: Linux Journal (not the actual photo)

Now, the technical and legal details of whether employers have the right to refuse someone’s resignation aren’t so well documented, but the general consensus seems to be not really, unless the contract says otherwise.

In most cases, employment is handled on an “at will” basis, i.e. time off if desired. There may be stipulations in place to ensure that there is proper notice and that the work is done in full, but other than that the abandonment is final.

The issue was approached in a variety of ways and all were resolved in one way or another, with the employee and employer eventually parting ways with no real penalizing repercussions. But that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be aware of contract terms that may or may not make quitting smoking difficult.

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)

And many commentators supported that. In fact, so many people asked if the contract detailed this one year clause, pointing out other details and suggestions (including malicious compliance suggestions) along the way that OP had to post an additional comment to clarify some things.

The three posts have collectively managed to garner over 120,000 upvotes with a dozen Reddit awards, and have even been reposted in multiple places.

OP admitted they had some reservations about the posts, not least because of the attention they got and the way part of the internet took it the wrong way, though it’s just about people doing their jobs rather than actually being bad about it all. :

“My second Reddit post has had over 14 million views, with thousands of comments, and that’s not including all the places it’s been reposted to. My boss is about the same age as me. I think that it’s hard to imagine they haven’t seen it. A lot of these comments are extremely rude. I understand why, there’s a lot of frustration with the job and the bosses, but I just found it’s all pretty funny. I always imagined that my boss wasn’t much different from me, just trying to keep his job doing what he was told. I don’t think a policy like this was their idea, and I hope they haven’t read the comments on my post from people who don’t know better.

But r/AntiWork is more than just a place for work-themed catharsis. It’s also a place to generate conversation and make a difference. And every story is valid for bringing change where change is lagging behind. In fact, you can start making a change right here and now in the comments section below!

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