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Rejecting an Employee’s Rescission of Resignation May Be Adverse Action

Could an employer’s refusal to accept an employee’s rescission of resignation be considered an adverse employment action?

December 13, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

To prove a retaliation case, an employee must establish that an employer took an “adverse employment action” against the employee after the employee complained of unlawful discrimination or harassment. To be considered adverse, the action must be harmful to the point that it could dissuade a reasonable employee from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. Recently and in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision on a similar issue, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals examined whether an employer’s refusal to accept an employee’s rescission of resignation could be considered an adverse employment action.

While courts have previously ruled that such rejections cannot be considered adverse employment actions, the Supreme Court’s ruling clarified that courts must consider context. For example, where supervisors have encouraged an employee to consider rescinding her resignation, the employee may have a legitimate expectation that her rescission of resignation would be accepted. Or, where an employee’s request to postpone her resignation date was immediately approved, an employee may have an expectation that her resignation was still negotiable and not finalized.

To speak to an employment law attorney about a workplace matter, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705. This article is presented by the Dallas employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP.