Bass, Berry & Sims employment attorney Tim Garrett was quoted in an article published by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) exploring ways employers react to employees rescinding their resignation. In some cases, employers might allow the employee to stay, but Tim offered insight on the legal considerations when making this decision.

“If the job is no longer vacant, allowing the employee to revoke the resignation could have legal implications in relation to the new hire,” Tim said. He added that legal fallout could “include possible ‘promissory estoppel,’ especially if the new hire has notified their current employer or taken steps to relocate.”

Also worth considering is that employees that resign tend to have already had performance issues. “In this instance, the company can choose to disallow the employee’s attempted revocation, even if the job is vacant,” said Tim.

When considering an employee’s resignation in the first place, it’s worth noting that toxic workplace environments can often be the cause of resignation, and concerns should be investigated.

“The employer should inform the employee that the concerns will be looked into and explain that, if those concerns are the only reason for the resignation, the employer will consider the employee on leave pending the employer’s investigation,” said Tim.

The full article, “What Do You Do When an Employee Resigns, Then Asks to Stay,” was published by the Society for Human Resource Management on November 9 and is available online (subscription required).