In an employment context, “voluntary termination” occurs when an employee suddenly decides to leave the company or business organization. This is more commonly known as a resignation, which is allowed in an at-will employment situation. In most cases, the employer will require workers to give at least two weeks notice if they are seeking voluntary termination.
For some organization, voluntary termination may require longer periods of notice. For instance, for an executive-level employee, the company may require 30-days notice. These types of requirements and other factors related to a voluntary termination may be spelled out in an employment contract or employee handbook. If both parties agree to the voluntary termination, it may sometimes be beneficial for preventing disputes.
Some reasons for voluntary termination include a change of residence, a new job with a different company, personal issues, and medical health issues.
What Are Some Legal Issues Associated with Voluntary Termination?
In most cases, a voluntary termination will go smoothly if there are not any major issues with the employer or the employee. However, certain legal issues can sometimes arise in relation to a voluntary termination.
One of the main issues that can be involved in such cases is the concept of “constructive discharge.” This is where an employee is subject to harassment or discrimination and feels that they have no choice but to resign in order to stop being subjected to the negative conduct. These cases may require an internal investigation, especially if the employee has filed an internal complaint and did not receive a proper remedy from within the company. Constructive discharge claims are similar to wrongful termination cases.
Another common issue is where an employee has possession of sensitive or confidential information belonging to the company. In such cases, they may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement or similar agreement when they submit their voluntary termination.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Voluntary Termination Conflicts?
In situations where the employee’s rights have been violated, a legal remedy may be appropriate. For instance, in situations involving constructive discharge, the employee who was subject to harassment or discrimination may be awarded remedies such as:
- Monetary damages for losses (for instance, for lost wages or benefits while not working)
- Reinstatement to their previous position
- A court-mandated change in company employment policies
Can a Lawyer Help Me with Any Voluntary Employment Termination Issues?
Voluntary termination is a somewhat common occurrence, but it can sometimes involve very specific legal issues that need resolving. You may need to hire an employment law attorney in your area if you need assistance with any voluntary termination issues. Your attorney can provide you with legal research, advice and guidance for your case. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit and appear in court, your lawyer can represent you during the court process.