My boss said that if I don’t resign, he is going to fire me. He said it’s better for me and my career that way. That certainly sounds logical, but do I forfeit anything by resigning, and how would I explain why I left my job?
There is the public statement of why you are leaving the company and then there is the reality. People are always curious if there is a “real” story behind a resignation. You can tell your boss that you will “resign” if the company gives you the same severance benefits that you would receive if you were fired, assuming the reason for termination is not for cause and assuming the company provides such benefits. You can also get an agreement that you will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Those are the things you could be forfeiting by officially resigning instead of letting the company terminate your employment.
My employer is requiring us to travel to meet with customers and attend in-person events, but I don’t feel safe traveling under the current circumstances. I’ve been meeting with customers via Zoom, and it’s going just fine — I work in sales and my numbers are up. My boss said that I am willfully refusing to do my job and effectively resigning. Don’t they have to accommodate my concerns?
Unless you are making a claim that you need an accommodation that’s covered by law, your employer can require that you travel for your job. However, in the meantime, make it clear in writing to your boss that you are definitely not resigning and that you continue to perform your duties as you have been during the period you have worked remotely. State that given the spike in virus transmission and new restrictions the government is placing on travel, you don’t feel comfortable traveling and attending events at this time. After you establish your unequivocal denial that you are resigning, put the ball back in your employer’s court and explain that you are refusing to comply with a directive without the context of why it’s necessary. At the end of the day, though, your employer can terminate you, but they can’t claim that you resigned.
Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com.
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