Hello - have a conundrum I could use some advice and authority on. For various reasons, I'm giving three weeks' notice to my current employer on Monday, and am starting at a new job on January 5. I work for a non-profit organization as the Executive Director, and I'll be making my resignation to the current board President and incoming board President.

I'm thoughtful about the idea that they may want to terminate me on the spot. I have mixed feelings about that, and would really rather stay on throughout the remainder of the notice. I want to spend the remaining three weeks helping get the ship right for when I'm gone.

My real question has to do with governance of the organization. I consider it my responsibility to steer the ship properly from a governance perspective, and I'm not sure that the current and incoming Presidents actually have the authority to terminate me. If they suggest tha tthat's what they want to do, I want to steer them properly and accordingly.

Our by-laws don't address this issue, other than to indicate that the Board will hire and retain an executive director. The executive committee is empowered to act in the board's stead if the board can't meet. 

What would you advise from a proper board governance perspective? Thanks.

JonathanGiglio's picture
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BLUF - Move on.

Once you give your notice, there's no more ship for you to right. It's not your ship any longer.

Offer to stay, to help, but it's their decision. This is in spite their "right" to terminate you. Those who are staying have the "rights", you do not.

If you couldn't correct the trajectory while you were there, you're not going to make an impact in the next three weeks. In fact, to be fair, those who are staying may want a different approach. This is their responsibility.

Now - if there is a governance issue, you may need to distance yourself from the organization. Once again, you owe it to them to be as up front as possible. If it gets to the point where you need to resign for ethical reasons, you should be crystal clear with anyone you need to be - the Board, the President, any other regulatory agencies. You certainly don't want those who are staying to hang those lapses around your neck. Again though - this is not something you can "correct for" in the next three weeks, so the only way to avoid such a situation is to be VERY public about it. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Good luck and hope you have a Happy Holiday.




donm's picture
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After you resign, they are not terminating you, as the board would have to do. They are merely accepting your resignation effective immediately. They are changing the effective date, not discharging you. You did that yourself.

kevin_cross's picture

"changing your resignation date" is not a thing. I give resignation effective at a certain date or time and it is effective at that date or time. No other person or company can change the effective date of my resignation. I am the one resigning, the company can't tell me, "no, you're resigning on this day instead." By that logic they can not accept your resignation and you would have to work there forever.It it the employer deciding to terminate employment immediately, they can't change my decision to resign.
The reason it is termination is that I am an employee ready and willing to work and the company has decided they are the ones who want to sever the relationship.

In fact, most states actually have unemployment laws addressing this specifically. The law in California actually says that the company indeed severed the relationship if I gave notice and they severed employment before the effective time of my resignation. That's to say that if I give notice at 1pm that today is my last day and you tell me to go home now, you have fired me and I'm eligible for unemployment.

A lot of companies do crappy things to employees and it seems like somehow this treatment has earned a "common knowledge" status when it's just not true.

pucciot's picture
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kevin_cross :

I don't think it can be considered termination if they continue to pay you up until the time of stated resignation.

If an employee says he resigning as of next week. I think in most states it is legal to say
"OK, we will continue to pay you until that time. Go home now. And we are assigning you to home duties until then. Please do not report to work again. We will send you check in the mail."

The manager can file all of the paperwork and make the final official workday as the stated resignation date. And still tell the employee not to report to work.

I've done this before, with the full support of administration and HR.

pucciot's picture
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If you think they may summarily send you home --- then make sure your bags are packed before you hand in the letter.

Good Luck


kevin_cross's picture


good point. I do think it's easy to say you were still terminated and the extra pay was a severance package. 

I think could get sticky in most cases if someone was ever out to get someone else.

excellent point, my original post fell off the point a little. I was trying to make the point that no one makes decisions for anyone else, and im quite frankly appalled that someone on mt would think that.

pucciot's picture
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Kevin_Cross :

In the employee's mind they may have been fired (with a week of severance) a week before they resigned, but they won't qualify for unemployment.

The Organization will have the records to show - last date of employment, last date of payment, and the documentation of the resignation letter stating the date of resignation.

That's bad news if the employee was hoping for unemployment - but, why would they be counting on that if they resigned ?  - And besides they will get an extra week, with pay, personal time to take care of their transition to another situation.

And they can still say it was an accepted resignation. 

A win - win situation.   

The Oranization gets this person out of their hair right away

The employee gets to say they resigned voluntarily, and with a week of paid vacation.

-  Although, I will admit that emotionally it is a blow.  Bad feelings may be felt all around and this may be the best imperfect resolution.



FredRaymond's picture

Is that so, does this also happens between resignation and termination? If yes, hey then have a look to the droit du travail which are nothing but the labour laws and then take a further decision what is wrong and what you should do.

If still nothing is there then you have to case on it. But this will happen only after having complete knowledge on the convention collective of the company.