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Voluntary termination

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:36 pm
When an employee resigns from a job based on his or her own free will, it's known as a voluntary termination. An employee who voluntarily leaves an employment position may do so to take advantage of other employment opportunities, to escape an unfavorable work environment, or for personal reasons. Whatever the motive may be, workers who decide to quit their job are encouraged to give at least two weeks notice to their supervisor before leaving. This gesture of good will not only gives the company an opportunity to hire a replacement, but it can also help to end the employment relationship on good terms. The supervisor may be more apt to provide favorable references to another employer or even leave open an opportunity for the employee to come back. Unfortunately, no matter how civil and responsible an employee handles his or her resignation, an employer's reaction isn't always guaranteed to be understanding or positive. Companies with an employment at-will status may choose to dismiss the employee immediately upon hearing of the resignation. An employer can even sue for breach of contract, if the employee consented to an employment agreement obligating him or her to work for a certain period of time. To avoid liability, employees should make sure that all legal obligations are met before resigning. Employers, in turn, can protect themselves from potential wrongful discharge claims by documenting all voluntary terminations with signed resignation letters.
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