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  • Conner Lantz
    Keymaster
    Post count: 4836

    Hello,

    We have a scenario question. We have an employee who quit via text message to their direct manager. The manager responded back via text message confirming they accepted their resignation. We, as the Human Resources team, overlooked sending this employee a termination confirmation letter. The last pay stub and ROE were sent to this ex-employee.
    Is it in any way required that we send a termination confirmation letter at this point in time?

    Conner Lantz
    Keymaster
    Post count: 4836

    It’s not required but it may help. Let me explain. As you know, questions over whether employees really resigned or were terminated are a common source of litigation. The standard:
    >The employee must provide clear and unambiguous of intent to resign
    > Resignation must be voluntary and sincere
    A written text message may be enough to meet these requirements (see the case summary below). But I’d suggest asking the employee to put the resignation in writing first. If he/she doesn’t want to do that, I’d send the confirmation notice and ask the employee to sign it and send back to you. Hope that helps. Glenn
    P.S.A text message may be a valid resignation. We recently wrote about a Sask. case dealing with this issue:
    Texting ‘I Quit’ to Boss While in a Drunken Stupor Is a Real Resignation
    A bartender celebrating his 35th birthday while off duty on Saturday night sent his boss a text: “I quit. Find someone else to work Tuesday.” The next day, he texted an apology and claimed he was drunk. But this wasn’t the first time the bartender’s drinking had gotten him into hot water with his employer. So, the employer decided to just accept his resignation. The union argued that the bartender was drunk and obviously didn’t mean to resign. A resignation doesn’t count unless it’s sincere, voluntary and unambiguous. But the Sask. arbitrator said this resignation met the standard: the bartender put it in writing, didn’t show up for his next shifts and waited over a week for the meeting between the employer and union to try and formally take it back [Unitehere! Local 41 v Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans Club #38, 2019 CanLII 10712 (SK LA), Feb. 7, 2019].

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