Question: How to Handle Pay and a Resignation?
I just recently read your article on How to Handle an Employee Resignation, and had a question. We had an employee resign in a resignation letter and offer two weeks notice. The employee's resignation was welcome and we indicated that his services would end that same day.
When you suggest that the company pay for his time, does that mean the company pays for the additional two weeks time that was given as notice as if the employee had been allowed to continue when we accepted the resignation?
I would pay for the employee's two weeks just exactly as if he or she had worked for the two weeks. My article about how to handle a resignation definitely recommends this. Here's why you may want to pay out the employee's time when you walk them out of your company at their resignation.
You don't want to set precedent or be in a situation in which you treat employees differently. Assuming that you might want a good, valued employee to work the two weeks after her resignation, or to recognize her past contributions by paying for her time, you want to leave your options open. Paying some, and not others, following a resignation, no matter your reason, could be interpreted as discrimination.
If other employees know that they will not be allowed to work out their two weeks' notice or be paid for the time, you encourage employees *not* to give two weeks' notice at resignation. You will create an environmental norm in which people just quit if they want that two weeks' pay following resignation. Since you can assume most employees do want the interim pay at resignation, you will not want employees to believe that their only option is to quit without notice.
You are grateful that this employee, whom you wanted to fire anyway, is leaving. There's nothing wrong with a little thank you gift for the time, energy, paperwork, and so forth, that you just saved with his resignation. Two weeks' pay is peanuts in comparison. Thank your lucky stars.
There is very little likelihood that this employee would be in any position to sue you for any reason about his resignation. If he or she did, when you paid for the two weeks following his resignation, you look like a good guy - which is always good in a court of law.
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