When employees quit, always ask them for a written resignation.
Recent case: Mary spent decades building her medical device business before selling the firm. To aid the transition, she stayed on under an employment contract, which allowed her to resign with 30 days’ notice.
Mary and the new owners had a rocky relationship. At one point, she asked her boss whether he wanted her to resign. He said no. She then walked away from the conversation. Several co-workers later reported she told them she had quit. The new owners then sent her a letter accepting her resignation.
She sued, alleging she never resigned. The court said the case should go to trial because the new owners shouldn’t have relied solely on what co-workers reportedly heard Mary say. (Burton v. Teleflex, et al., No. 11-3752, 3rd Cir., 2013)
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