Picture it: Rachel, your front desk manager, schedules a meeting, airs her grievances, tells you why she can no longer be a part of your practice and gives her two weeks. As soon as she leaves your office, you put the wheels in motion to replace her. You post the position opening on job boards, LinkedIn and staffing firm websites, and start to go through the applications that come in, deciding who would be a good fit to replace Rachel. But then, a week later: JUST KIDDING! Rachel decides to rescind her two-weeks notice and asks you to just forget about all of those awful things she said. She just had a bad day. “I mean, you know how that goes right?” she says with a hint of embarrassed laughter.
Rachel un-quit. While it seems like this shouldn’t happen that often, it does. So now what do you do? On one hand, Rachel is such an asset to your practice, but on the other, who wants to keep an employee that clearly doesn’t want to be a part of your business. While the final decision is totally up to you, keep in mind that you are not obligated to keep employees who rescind their two-week notice. According to Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg, there is nothing, by law, requiring you to accept the rescinding of a two-week notice. In Boartfield and Twigg’s article “Human Resource Questions for Dentists: Employee rescinds resignation; CE reimbursement” written for DentistryIQ.com, they give you some legal tips to consider when dealing with this situation. “You may continue with ending her employment if you so choose,” they write. “However, you should do so with caution due to a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On November 17, 2015, this court held that an employer’s rejection of an employee’s rescission of resignation can ‘sometimes constitute an adverse employment action’ and may be considered retaliation under Title VII.”
In this case cited above, the plaintiff submitted her resignation and then testified at a grievance hearing that her supervisor had sexually harassed her. After the hearing, the plaintiff rescinded her resignation, but her her supervisor–who she just accused of harassment–denied the rescinding. “As a result, the decision to refuse to rescind a job resignation may be challenged and a court could analyze the context of the rejection of the rescission to determine whether it is considered an adverse employment action,” write Boartfield and Twigg.
Because each case is different, managers and business owners must treat every one as such in order to determine the best outcome for both your practice and your employee. Keep in mind the legality of the situation and what, if any, damage has already been done. I’m sure if Rachel would have been leaving on good terms, her manager would probably be leaning more toward accepting the rescinding of her two-week notice. In the same vein, it’s important that Rachel, and all of you out there who are thinking about leaving your job, quit with tact and grace . . . just in case you might want to un-quit before your two weeks are up. And, also because it’s really never good to completely burn a bridge. You never know when you’ll need that employer as a reference, even if it doesn’t seem like it now.
To read more about this issue and CE reimbursement for non-mandatory technology training, check out the the full article by Boartfield and Twigg .