Leadership Tip: Should Resignations Be Immediately Accepted?

Employee resignations can be a trying, and at times confusing process for both employers and employees especially when handling unemployment claims. A particularly complicated piece of this process occurs when an employee’s resignation is accepted immediately. This means that an employee has resigned and given their notice, however their employer accepts the resignation immediately. This action can affect the outcome of the individual’s unemployment claim if they do not work through their notice period, and can often be detrimental to the employer.
When deciding the outcome of an unemployment claim, the state is first determining which party (employer or claimant) initiated the separation on the last day of work. A separation that was initially a voluntary separation can be considered a discharge separation by the unemployment office if the employee’s last day of work is accelerated by the employer (meaning the employer accepted the resignation immediately). In this instance, the moving party shifts from the employee to the employer from the state(s) perspective.
This separation scenario will be handled based on the state specific regulations. There are several possible outcomes depending on the state in which the claim is being filed:

  • In most states, the separation will be treated as a discharge, and the employer must be able to establish that they accelerated the separation for work-related misconduct in order for the employee to be denied unemployment benefits and secure a relief from charges.
  • There are some states that will consider the separation to be a discharge for the length of the employee’s intended notice period, but they will consider the separation to be a quit as of the end of the notice period. In this scenario, benefits will usually be charged to the employer for the duration of the notice period (two weeks, for example).
  • Some states will still consider the separation as voluntary resignation as long as the employee is paid through the intended resignation date.
    It is important to consider how the separation will be viewed by the unemployment department before accelerating the separation of an employee who has given notice to resign. It may be cost effective to allow an employee to work through a notice period or pay them through a notice period rather than initiating an immediate separation, especially if there is no misconduct.


If you have any questions please reach out to your assigned Human Resources Business Partner at DecisionHR 1-888-828-5511.


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