Can an employer turn away my rescinded resignation after verbally saying it’s okay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer turn away my rescinded resignation after verbally saying it’s okay?

I recently provided my employer with a letter of resignation due to another job offer. I then spoke with the plant manager, who made me feel like a valued employee and insisted that my letter could be rescinded. So after thinking the situation over further, I decided to turn down the other offer and stay with the company, or so I thought. Now they have rejected my rescission and are instead honoring my resignation, even after leading me to believe that I could withdraw from it and be fine. Due to this being, I turned down the other offer. Now I’ll be unemployed with no type of employment in the works. Is that even legal to begin with? And can they hold me to an unsigned letter of resignation?

Asked on June 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is perfectly legal. There is no legal requirement for a written letter of resignation; or for such a letter, if you provide one, to be signed--all that's necessary is that you communicate or indicate that you are resigning, which you did. There is also no legal right to rescind a resignation. Given that all employment, in the absence of a still-in-effect (not terminated or expired) contract is "employment at will," and so there is no right to or guaranty of a job or employment, there is no liability for your employer due you having turned down another job, thinking you still have a job--that could happen at any time (you could, for example, be terminated at any time, without warning or prior notice, even right after you turned down some other offer).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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