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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36700
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I am in discussions with my current employer to end my employment

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I am in discussions with my current employer to end my employment with them. I am a full time salaried employee in LA. (Production supervisor) I indicated to the HR manager in Chicago that "it wasn't working out for either of us (the company or me) and that I was willing to work on into the new year but I was looking to leave." After a discussion with the plant management he has told me to submit a resignation letter to that effect with the date on it and he would go back to management with that proposal. I told him I was going to submit 31 March 2013 for that. He indicated he was fine (but again prefaced it all with the he had to go back to the team.)
My question is - if I submit this letter can they come back to me with an acceptance but an earlier date? Like 2 weeks from now? Or Dec 31st? etc? I need the income between now and then (March 31st) but the situation, for a number of reasons, is unbearable. So I am kind of looking for a severance package of sorts.
I'd like to hear back before I submit this letter.
Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

Do you presently have an employment contract, guaranteeing you a position for a specific period of time?

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. I am just a regular salaried employee.

Good afternoon,

Thank you for the additional information.

I've been a licensed CA attorney for nearly 3 decades, and for two of those, I have handled employment law cases and employment law litigation----for employees.

You may have a problem. Many employers take the position that an employee who submits a notice of intent to terminate their employment is on their way out, and the company will search for a replacement immediately.

So, while it is unlikely that they will find a replacement for your position in a couple of weeks, they may not agree to keep you if they hire someone to fill the position before you have stated your intent to leave.

I generally advise my clients never to submit a notice of intent to terminate unless they are prepared to be terminated soon after submission. Additionally, severance packages are not obligatory in CA and while you may ask for one, I have to be honest. Very few companies pay severance of any kind to employees who resign. Typically, when severance is provided---again, unless you have contracted for it ahead of time, and often as part of negotiating an employment contract----it is provided only to employees being laid off through no fault of their own.

I would be very hesitant to submit a notice of resignation for any time in the future hoping to negotiate a severance package---and I would not do so because too many employers immediately look for a replacement.

Granted if you submit a resignation for 31 March, and you ate terminated before then, you will qualify for unemployment benefits until 31 march---but unemployment is typically not a viable income replacement mechanism for someone in your position---because the benefits are rather limited from unemployment---as compared to what I suspect your salary is.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.


Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time in assisting you
.
Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and contact me with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to address your concerns to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doug,


 


I am expecting that they will ask me to leave almost immediately. That seems to be where we are at. I am fine with that as long as they pay me through to March 31st.


My blood pressure is through the roof, I am seeing a therapist, and the toll on me physically makes it almost hazardous to go in there. I started in May of this year. Since I have been there 3 people have just upped and quit. The turn over rate is high and I know there have been employment lawsuits etc.


I am in the midst of a career change to becoming a therapist. Still have one and a half years left in my masters program. So staying in manufacturing doesn't matter to me. I have options.

Therefore I am fine with them asking me to leave next week. Provided they don't say "Ok we accept your resignation, here's two weeks pay." That is why I am stipulating March 31st. I know they are not obligated to adhere to that. But if they say, "accepted get out of here with no additional pay" - then can I refuse that and say "No I am willing to stay till March31st..." Realistically I would even be ok with even just staying and getting paid till the end of January or the new year. I don't want to get into a pissing contest with them. I am just trying to exit in a semi solvent fashion and not have a stroke.


 


-Bill

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doug,

 

I am expecting that they will ask me to leave almost immediately. That seems to be where we are at. I am fine with that as long as they pay me through to March 31st.

My blood pressure is through the roof, I am seeing a therapist, and the toll on me physically makes it almost hazardous to go in there. I started in May of this year. Since I have been there 3 people have just upped and quit. The turn over rate is high and I know there have been employment lawsuits etc.

I am in the midst of a career change to becoming a therapist. Still have one and a half years left in my masters program. So staying in manufacturing doesn't matter to me. I have options.

Therefore I am fine with them asking me to leave next week. Provided they don't say "Ok we accept your resignation, here's two weeks pay." That is why I am stipulating March 31st. I know they are not obligated to adhere to that. But if they say, "accepted get out of here with no additional pay" -  then can I refuse that and say "No I am willing to stay till March31st..." Realistically I would even be ok with even just staying and getting paid till the end of January or the new year. I don't want to get into a pissing contest with them. I am just trying to exit in a semi solvent fashion and not have a stroke.

 

-Bill

I guess I want to know if I can refuse that acceptance and stay on if their counter severance is paltry??
You asked: But if they say, "accepted get out of here with no additional pay" - then can I refuse that and say "No I am willing to stay till March31st..."

No, you can't just say no. Without an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and they can terminate you any time they want. The only difference being, if they terminate you without cause, you will get unemployment benefits.

Once you submit the intent to resign letter, they are free to accept it, and let you stay until the end of March, or they can let you go the same day.

What I have been trying to tell you is that you don't control the shots here---they do. So be very careful about discussing your resignation. It might backfire.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be credited with helping you. Would you please rate me now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doug,


 


Sorry I got locked out. Last query I promise.


 


So if I submit a letter of resignation, dated for March 31st 2013. The only thing I will be entitled to is unemployment compensation?


 


Would I have a case to recover my lost wages, the difference between the unemployment and my salary? Significant yes I know.


 


I have not been written up or anything. Merely verbal threats of stuff.


 


So I cannot rescind my letter of resignation? I thought I could.

Hi Bill,

I'm sorry you got locked out. I am here as long as you need me---at least tonight. Tomorrow I go to an SEC game in north GA.

If you submit a letter indicating your intent to resign on March, 31, 2013,and then come back and say, sorry we are letting you go now---all the law will grant you is unemployment through the date that you indicated you would resign. No severance is necessary under CA employment laws.

I'm afraid that because you don;t have an employment contract, that means that the company has no obligation to pay you beyond your last day of employment---whether you resign, or they let you go. The only way that you could seek payment of salary would be in the event you were wrongfully terminated---and since you don;t have a guaranteed position, the termination would have to be the result of unlawful discrimination. It is legal to let someone go if they submit a notice of intent to resign---even if it is months in the future.

As you have submitted nothing in writing, you would probably be better off doing nothing for now. Say nothing, submit nothing and bide your time. Give a week or two notice if you feel obliged to do so---but know that your notice may precipitate your termination.

I wish you success in your new career, Bill!

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be credited with helping you. Would you please rate me now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
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