What Is Job Abandonment? – Addressing Job Abandonment

When the time comes for an employee to leave a company to further his or her career, there is usually a procedure that needs to be followed. Some of the steps include submitting a resignation letter, informing the employer ahead of time about his or her final date of employment, doing an exit interview, etc.

But, what if the employee decides not to notify the employer? What if the employee suddenly disappears from the office without any word or trace? That is what you would call job abandonment, and this article is going to focus on what you can do in order to solve this kind of problem. You may also see employee satisfaction survey templates.

How to address job abandonment

It is important to address this kind of problem with the proper steps so that employers can avoid legal action that can be taken against them. So, if you are going to deal with job abandonment, then make sure that you follow these steps:

1. Establish clear policies

If you want to make sure that no legal action will be taken against you, then one of the things that you have to do is to have clear company policies that every employee can easily understand. By having a termination policy which states that an employee will be terminated after a number of no call/no shows, then you will have every right to terminate the employee without the threat of being charged for wrongful termination. As long as you were able to post and communicate the policy to the employee, then you should not have any problems.

2. Attempt to contact the employee

While it is not exactly necessary for you to contact the employee before you go ahead with the termination process, it can be useful in helping you avoid any legal situations. Do whatever you can to contact the employee. Use his or her contact information in his or her employment application and see if the employee responds to your calls or your emails. If there are no responses, then the next thing that you have to do is to send the employee a termination letter notifying the employee that he or she will be terminated if there is no valid reason for his or her extended absence. It is best that you document all your means of contact as you can use it as proof that you at least tried to get in touch with the soon-to-be-terminated employee.

3. Wait to take action

If the employee has not been showing up in the office for quite some time, then do not just jump to conclusions. The employee may be having a medical emergency or there may be other situations that you are unaware of. So, what you can do is at least give the employee a week or a week and a half to explain or to reach out to you. Although it can be tempting to start the termination process as soon as possible, it will become really problematic on your end if the employee actually does manage to submit a letter or an email explaining his or her absence. So, hold off for a short period of time before you notify the employee that he or she is going to be terminated for job abandonment.

4. Pay as required

Employers are required to pay their employees for all of the time that they worked in accordance with whatever agreement that the two of you have made in the employment contract. Remember that you are still required by law to pay employees for what they have done for your business, regardless of job abandonment.

5. Maintain consistency

No matter what kind of policy you have regarding job termination or job abandonment, you have to be sure that you are consistent with its implementation. If an employer were to terminate one employee because he or she no longer showed up for work after a respectable amount of time, yet allows another to continue to commit the same violation, then the terminated employee can use this to file discrimination charges against you and your business. So, no matter who it is in your company, you have to make sure that the same consequences apply to all of them in the event that they break one of your company’s policies. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a lot of lawsuits on your hands and that could very well mean the end of your business.

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