A church employee provided a letter of resignation to our church board. A few days later she changed her mind and asked the board to disregard her letter of resignation. What should we do? When is a resignation effective, and can it later be revoked?
Note the following ten points regarding resignations:
1. Most employees hired for an indefinite term are "at-will" employees who can resign at any time, subject to the conditions summarized below.
2. Employees hired for a specified term may be unable to resign prior to the end of their employment term, and, if they try, they may be subject to damages in a lawsuit brought by their employer. Clearly, this is something to be discussed in advance to avoid wasteful litigation.
3. An at-will employee's unilateral right to resign may be limited or restricted by an employment contract that provides otherwise.
4. An at-will employee's unilateral right to resign may be limited or restricted by an employer's policy manual that provides otherwise. For example, some manuals require a specified number of days of advance notice before a resignation will be effective.