What Qualifies as a 'Voluntary Quit?'

When has an employee quit… if he or she fails to notify you? This problem — the uncertainty of an employee’s employment status — can create all kinds of difficulties for your company.

A Typical Situation

Your employee fails to call in and is gone for five workdays. You assume she’s quit so you replace her. On the sixth workday she shows up for work, explaining her mother died suddenly, her 2-year-old son had an emergency tonsillectomy, or her husband was called to duty in the National Guard. But now she’s ready to work.

After you tell her she quit because she didn’t show up, she files for unemployment. How can you ensure you’ll win the unemployment case? Simple: Have a voluntary quit policy. State exactly what circumstances will result in your company concluding an employee voluntarily quit.

Sample Language

Example 1:

If you are absent from work for more than “X” consecutive workdays, without notifying your supervisor in advance of your absence with an explanation for your absence and receiving the supervisor’s approval for the absence, you will have quit your employment voluntarily.

Example 2

An employee who is absent from work for more than 12 consecutive scheduled work hours, without approval of the absence in advance by his or her supervisor, is self-terminated.