If an employee walks out on a job and quits, how long do they have to "change" their minds? Does the employer have to take them back at their previous schedule?
10/13/2011 2:29:23 PM EDT
Our policy is that if an employee quits, we don't let them take back the resignation. We do, however, allow them to apply for the job when we post it (or any other job) if we move an internal into that spot. Doing it that way allows both the employer and the ex employee have "cooling off" time to decide whether or not they're a good match for our organization.
10/06/2011 8:56:06 PM EDT
Generally, I concur; but just how emphatic was the "walking out"? Was it a quiet "tell-the-boss-I-need-time-to-decompress-before-I-say-something-I'll-regret" or was it a "to-Hell-with-you...I-quit, you @#*%#!" type of walking out? Either way, the employee has probably given the employer reason to terminate, especially if there have been problems or a "write-up" situation before. The employer has no legal obligation to continue employment or rehire, although there are employers who might consider letting an employee who has been exceptionally good and just had an a really bad day, perhaps because of outside influences, return to discuss the problem and needed corrective action.
In such a case, compassion with prudence might be considered the best practice. In the latter case, the employer could choose to give another chance if there is a good probablility that such behavior was an aberration and it will not happen again.
Some states require that an employee be absent 3 days before terminating without having to pay unemployment benefits. Other states may consider an angry walk out "a quit." It depends on your state. So, there is a chance an employee could get unemployment benefits, depending on the circumstances.
This does not mean that the employer cannot decide to continue to employ, i.e., terminate. Many employers are at-will employers, which means they can terminate an employee without a reason, except for illegal reasons, such as discrimination or illegal retaliation against the employee. To my knowledge, terminating an employee for walking out--abandoning his/her job--is not illegal. An employee who is "at-will" may also quit without a given reason or the courtesy of a notice.