Jan 19 2022
Josh Goodbaum: Hi, Amanda!
Amanda DeMatteis: Hi, Josh! What are we talking about today?
Goodbaum: I thought we could talk about the Great Resignation; we’ve heard a lot about that. Employees around the country are leaving their jobs in record numbers, including right here in Connecticut, and as employment lawyers who represent Connecticut employees, we wanted to tell Connecticut employees some of the things that you should know if you’re thinking about quitting your job or if you have already joined the Great Resignation. What should people think about?
DeMatteis: Yeah, we see this all the time, more so recently with the Great Resignation and in the past, it’s been people who think they’re working in a hostile work environment or people who are being sexually harassed, and they say, “I gotta get out; I’m just going to resign.” But before you do that, you should do a few things.
We’ve broken this down into three different parts.
Number one, talk to an employment lawyer. Why? Because you might have legal claims, and by voluntarily resigning from your position, you could give up rights and entitlements that you would otherwise have if you didn’t voluntarily resign. So you want to talk about that and analyze that situation before you just simply leave because it could very well be too late after you’ve already resigned.
Number two is unemployment. Traditionally in Connecticut, the Department of Labor will deem you ineligible for benefits if you voluntarily leave suitable employment. Remember, no employment lawyer, or your employer for that matter, can tell you whether or not you’ll be entitled to unemployment benefits. That’s only the job of the Department of Labor. But traditionally, if you resign voluntarily, you don’t get those benefits. So again, you want to think through that process and decide, “Is this best for me and my family, to resign from work and then not have the benefit of those unemployment benefits?”
The third is when should you time this resignation. Think about things like paid-time-off, a bonus, your health insurance, right? These are things that you want to think about as your employment is ending. It’s employer-specific and policy-specific whether or not you get PTO, vacation time, sick time, etc., at the time of a voluntary resignation. You want to review those policies and know what it is you’re entitled to at the time of resignation. Maybe you get nothing, so you want to use that vacation time or PTO before you indicate your intent to resign to take full advantage of the benefits you have with your employer. The same goes for bonuses. We regularly see, you know, 2021 comes to end, you otherwise would have been entitled to a 2021 bonus, but pursuant to policy, you have to be employed at the time that bonus is actually provided to employees. Maybe that is March 1st. Well, you don’t want to resign on February 15th and not be entitled to that bonus that you otherwise would have received on March 1st. So you have to really think about that issue. Same with health care, right? If you resign at the end of the month, maybe your employer is only going to keep you on until the end of that month. So resigning on February 27th is only going to give you health insurance for one more day, whereas, if you resign on March 1st, maybe you get coverage through that month.
So these are just three examples. They’re considerations to think about. There are certainly more, and they’re very specific in each individual circumstance. So give us a call, talk to an employment lawyer before you make a really big decision, and understand what rights you have available to you.
Goodbaum: Great advice, Amanda. Thanks so much. Take care, everybody.