General Question

lbwhite89's avatar

What if I get let go after turning in my resignation?

Asked by lbwhite89 (1208points) February 28th, 2011

I work as a teller at a bank and I’m turing in my 2 week notice today. It’s too much stress while I’m going to school and there are some other issues that are causing me to make mistakes when I normally wouldn’t.

1. If I turn in my notice and they tell me to just go home, can I still tell my next employer that I quit (since I technically did)?
2. If I turn in my notice and they let me work for awhile and then “fire” me, can I still tell my next employer that I quit?

I really don’t want getting fired to be on my record, but I know this situation happens a lot.

If I do get let go and put them on my resume but don’t list my boss as a reference, what can they legally tell a future employer that calls them about me?

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20 Answers

markferg's avatar

As, I suspect, this is a US based question, then what I say could not apply. However a lot of what is US law comes from the UK, then I would suggest that your resignation trumps anything that your employer tries. They cannot alter the employment contract just because you resigned.

Seelix's avatar

I’m not sure about the legality of it all, but it’d be a really crappy boss who would fire you after you’ve given your notice, especially without cause. If you’ve been a good employee, your boss would need a reason to fire you (and I’m pretty sure that quitting isn’t a reason), otherwise you could claim wrongful termination.

I would speak with your direct supervisor, explain the situation and your reasons for resigning. Don’t just hand him/her a letter – talk to him/her about it. You might be surprised at how compassionate some people can be.

tedibear's avatar

@lbwhite89 – I read your previous post about this and I think you’re making the right decision. Can they let you go immediately after your resignation? Yes. Will they? I kind of doubt it since your head teller is out on medical leave, they probably need your help. And if they do, you still resigned first and that’s what you can say – that you resigned.

I’m still sorry that they’ve kept on the head teller who is such an obvious problem. We have a couple of those at my bank and it’s really annoying.

roundsquare's avatar

I’m not sure legally, but if you want to remain on your employer’s good side, be ready to be a bit flexible. E.g. if they need you for a few extra days, etc… (since your head teller is apparently on medical leave) consider doing that.

@markferg A lot of US law did originate in the UK, but its diverged greatly in many ways. Employment law in the UK is much much more employee friendly than in the US. As I’ve heard it, its very hard to fire someone without cause in the UK (compared to the US anyway).

SuppRatings's avatar

In the post 2000 world, it has become quite common for places to let you go when you turn in your notice due to liabilities that come from data that you have access to, specifically within the financial industry. I think times are changing has companies are now no longer very loyal to its employees, employees are now no longer loyal to their company they work for and don’t feel a need for a two week notice.

Basically, if you feel like you should give a notice then give one.

lbwhite89's avatar

@SuppRatings I’m definitely going to at least offer a notice. Honestly, if they say they don’t need the notice and I can go home, that’s fine. Then I’ll have more time to conduct my job search. But I’m not going to risk burning any bridges and I’m loyal (or at least respectful) enough to not leave them high and dry with no extra help at the branch. I think it would be extremely rude, childish, and unethical not to offer a notice before leaving a job, at least for the reason I’m leaving.

WasCy's avatar

Don’t worry about it. If you tender a resignation then that’s what’ll happen. Normally a reason is given, and if your reason was that “I got a better offer from a competitor”, then they may ask you to leave on the spot. That’s not uncommon for many industries; the presumption seems to be that if you’re going to work for a competitor, then you may sabotage internal processes, steal clients and company secrets, etc. (As if that couldn’t have been done in the days and weeks prior to your official resignation.)

Furthermore, with layoffs being what they are today, I think that the company takes less of a hit on unemployment payments if you resign voluntarily, and they certainly won’t offer you a severance package. They also know that if you leave you’re not likely to sue them for wrongful termination, so it’s hardly in their interest to fire you.

Finally, and the thing that’s probably most on your mind: few if any former employers give out “reasons for termination” any more. The most that they will tell a prospective future employer is: “Betty Smith worked for the firm from x date to y date, she was employed as a whatever and her salary during that period ranged from a to b.” Expressing negative opinions about former employees does cause legal problems for employers; any HR department worthy of the name is very leery of “personal recommendation” these days. (Even good ones can backfire.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lbwhite89 Definately give the notice. Then it’s up to them how they handle it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they send you packing, but it’s their call and you didn’t leave them in a bad situation. You can explain the developments to any future potential employer and they should understand.

marinelife's avatar

1. If you resign, especially in a letter, they cannot fire you afterward.

2. Same as 1.

3. What @Seelix said is wrong, in that employment is at will and there is no wrongful firing. Your boss does not need a reason to fire you. That said, they will not just do so.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Yes, you can still say that you quit your job because that’s the truth. If your boss does pull any funny business, just tell your future employer that you gave them your due notice of 2 weeks, and that’s all. Some companies have policies that once you turn in your 2 weeks notice they ask you to leave, but still pay your 2 weeks out. That’s happened to me and it was a cordial split.

lbwhite89's avatar

Ok, I turned in my notice and it went fine. They are letting me do my two weeks.

However, on Friday I had a compliance issue where I didn’t fill out a form that is required (I’ve only been here since October and I’ve never had to fill that form out before) and I can’t fix it. They said in a couple of days, if I haven’t resolved it, I’ll get written up. What if they fire me because of that even though I’ve already resigned?

WasCy's avatar


You sound like a great employee, really. Anyone should be fortunate to have someone as conscientious as you seem to be.

Having a writeup in a file for a good faith failure in performance is not a major problem. They won’t fire you for anything short of willful neglect, malfeasance or criminal activity at this point. You made a mistake, and if you had planned to continue in your career there, it may have come up in a performance appraisal. More likely a training issue that the management has to work on themselves, and not a conduct issue on your part at all, though.

Just be nice to people and do your job as well as you can for the next two weeks, and you’ll be fine.

klutzaroo's avatar

Getting fired is not a death sentence! It happens at some point to almost everyone. Even if you ever did get fired, you’d survive and future employers generally understand that people who work many places will eventually find a situation that they’re not suited for. I got fired my one time by a nutso boss who couldn’t keep employees for more than a few months. It happens. Chill. Learn act like a grown-up and learn that shit happens.

Even if they “fire” you now, you’ve already resigned. I think you think there’s some kind of permanent record out there like they tell us there is in school that tells what you did and why and that’s the final word on your employment history, it just isn’t true. Even if future employers can find out that somewhere fired you in the past, they generally get that shit happens sometimes. And since you’ve resigned, they can’t fire you. You’re already resigned, that is what you tell future employers and if someone wants to say differently then you have the rights to take it up with them or to tell the future employers that your former employers are mistaken.

In the future, just a tip, talk to your coworkers who work in the same place as you with the same rules if you have a problem. Those who have been there a while know far better than random people on the internet how big a deal getting written up for not filing a Form dfg707495xl is.

lbwhite89's avatar

@klutzaroo I have asked those I work with. One girl has only been here as long as I have and an older lady I work with says she doesn’t know what will happen. Everyone else just gives me a shrug and a worried look.

klutzaroo's avatar

@lbwhite89 And we’re supposed to know better than them what will happen? What’s wrong with asking your boss? I’ve been looking over your questions and I think you’re a little too concerned with what’s happening with you, thinking that is the most important thing ever, and ignoring the bigger picture. You have a tendency to overreact to things (OMG, my boyfriend can’t find a job for a whole couple of weeks!!!) in a way that is more child than adult. Suck it up, grow up, chill out. Shit happens. Everyone else knows this. Those of us who act like adults suck it up and deal with it, whatever it is, rather than asking questions of people who have no way of telling us what we need to know. Go ask you boss if you’re that concerned about it. If you’re not concerned enough about it to take it up with your boss, stop freaking out about the “what if“s and focus on what’s more important. Study for your next test. Read a textbook. There are things that are far more productive that you could be doing rather than asking us “Yeah, ok, but what if THIS happens then?” We don’t know for sure any better than you do.

WasCy's avatar

Okay, and you chill, too, @klutzaroo.

Personally, I’ve always cared more for people who care ‘too much’ than those who couldn’t care less. She’ll get to where you think she should be soon enough, probably too soon but in the meantime she’s perfectly charming just as she is.

lbwhite89's avatar

@klutzaroo First of all, I didn’t ask anyone here if I would get fired or not for what happened. I asked a question in the event that happened. A question that can definitely be answered by people that don’t work with me, about a future employer. I’m well aware that no one here can tell me if I’ll get fired or not.

Secondly, yes, I’m a worrier. But that doesn’t make me childish, it just means I care. I’m a 21 year old, I’ve only had two jobs before this, and this is the first time I’ve been working and going to school full time, so I’m under a lot of stress. Excuse me for worrying about not finding another job after I leave this one. How stupid of me to think that an employer will care if you were fired from your last job.

I know stuff happens, but I don’t think it’s uncalled for to ask opinions from people other than those I know…to get more of an idea of what I’m getting myself into. If you think I’m just a child who can’t chill the hell out, that’s fine, but is it really necessary to insult me? I don’t think so.

Coloma's avatar

I have learned that being honest always serves me the best.
IF, after tendering your resignation, your employer manipulates the situation into a ‘letting YOU go’ circumstance I would simply be honest with the next potential employer and tell them the truth of the situation. It’s their call, your word against the former employer, but,honesty is always the best policy IMO.

There is no way to predict the outcome until it actually happens so try to not let your mind run away with you.

Regardless of outcome you will be just fine. Really, that’s all you need to ‘know’.

iamthemob's avatar

What @WasCy said about what a former employer will say about the reasons for termination is fundamentally important. They rarely give out any details about your work except for hire date, termination and salary. As long as you’re not lying on your resume, you don’t need to objectively worry because former employers limit the information generally as they are concerned that saying anything that might be construed as defamation could lead to a lawsuit.

mxhairball's avatar

personally i would keep a copy of your resignation letter with the date and if possible have someone sign it as received or a witness, then if they let me go i would go collect unemployment for awhile. you put the money in with every check, might as well get some of it back

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