Hostile exit after resignation

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:14 pm

Currently dealing with a pretty hostile exit after giving notice at my firm and wanted to hear whether this is the norm / if anyone else has seen anything similar. Basically, after giving notice to my v10, I was de-staffed from all my matters immediately, denied lump sum vacation pay, instead forced into vacation for the remaining accrued PTO. The firm also tried to take an issue with the fact that I didn't give heads up about conflict check (I passed it with my new firm). This seems a little absurd but are firms engaging in practices like this now because of COVID?

kaiser

Gold
Posts: 2969
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by kaiser » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:17 pm

Never heard anything like that. I've left 2 biglaw firms, and both were completely understanding and accommodating on my exit.

Whatislaw

New
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:06 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Whatislaw » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:44 pm

That is pretty ridiculous, but the good news is you're leaving. For sick pay though, check your state law though as what they're doing may not be legal (pending which state you're in).

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:02 pm

Whatislaw wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:44 pm
That is pretty ridiculous, but the good news is you're leaving. For sick pay though, check your state law though as what they're doing may not be legal (pending which state you're in).
Under the state law, I am entitled to it being paid out. I guess if they force me on vacation but still pay me for that, that satisfies. But this is EXTREMELY shady.

Whatislaw

New
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:06 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Whatislaw » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:23 pm

Does your state allow them to force you on vacation though? This isn't exactly a leave situation where some employers can ask you to exhaust sick leave or PTO first. No doubt this is super shady as they're effectively trying to get out of paying you out for your sick leave and PTO (or your salary depending on how you view this).

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:32 pm

Whatislaw wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:23 pm
Does your state allow them to force you on vacation though? This isn't exactly a leave situation where some employers can ask you to exhaust sick leave or PTO first. No doubt this is super shady as they're effectively trying to get out of paying you out for your sick leave and PTO (or your salary depending on how you view this).
I think the state can... there's no law against it. I mean, the firm has been "very strongly encouraging" associates to use up their vacation days notwithstanding this BS regarding my exit. This is borderline illegal, extremely shady, and I can't tell if it's personal (going to a competitor) or a reflection of the firm's financial situation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:35 pm

I'm an employment lawyer myself, and this is in no way legal advice, but figured I'd give some input on the vacation issue. What you are entitled to at the time of your separation largely depends on three things: (i) the state you are in, (ii) what your company policy says about vacation payout, and (iii) how your company treats PTO generally (particular with regard to the separation between sick and vacation time).

Some states require that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out at the time of separation. For example, NY requires that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out. But employers in NY are able to avoid payout if they have a clearly-stated policy that they will not pay it out on separation. Without that kind of disclaimer (typically found in an employee handbook), they would typically be required to pay out the vacation (to the extent it has actually be accured). In states like CA, employers don't even have the option to disclaim it. Most states, however, just defer to whatever the employer's stated policy is on vacation payout.

And make sure to distinguish between sick and vacation time (unless your company lumps both into a combined PTO program). I'm not aware of any state that requires the employer to pay out for unused, accrued sick time. That includes CA and NY. But if the employer doesn't break down sick days from vacation/personal, and just uses a general PTO bank for all uses, then it would likely all be treated under the vacation rules.

If you are entitled to payout of unused, accrued vacation (whether by state law or company policy), they can't force you to stay and take the PTO prior to leaving (though they can certainly encourage current employees to use their PTO, rather than keep their banks high). You could just quit any time you wish and they would still be entitled to pay out the remaining time. You have no obligation to remain employed until all of the PTO is actually used up.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:35 pm
I'm an employment lawyer myself, and this is in no way legal advice, but figured I'd give some input on the vacation issue. What you are entitled to at the time of your separation largely depends on three things: (i) the state you are in, (ii) what your company policy says about vacation payout, and (iii) how your company treats PTO generally (particular with regard to the separation between sick and vacation time).

Some states require that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out at the time of separation. For example, NY requires that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out. But employers in NY are able to avoid payout if they have a clearly-stated policy that they will not pay it out on separation. Without that kind of disclaimer (typically found in an employee handbook), they would typically be required to pay out the vacation (to the extent it has actually be accured). In states like CA, employers don't even have the option to disclaim it. Most states, however, just defer to whatever the employer's stated policy is on vacation payout.

And make sure to distinguish between sick and vacation time (unless your company lumps both into a combined PTO program). I'm not aware of any state that requires the employer to pay out for unused, accrued sick time. That includes CA and NY. But if the employer doesn't break down sick days from vacation/personal, and just uses a general PTO bank for all uses, then it would likely all be treated under the vacation rules.

If you are entitled to payout of unused, accrued vacation (whether by state law or company policy), they can't force you to stay and take the PTO prior to leaving (though they can certainly encourage current employees to use their PTO, rather than keep their banks high). You could just quit any time you wish and they would still be entitled to pay out the remaining time. You have no obligation to remain employed until all of the PTO is actually used up.
Is there any benefit to quitting and getting the payout, as opposed to using up the PTO while remaining employed? And what is the benefit to the firm for having me use up my PTO as opposed to paying me the lump sum? I am in the state where the policy clearly states that I am entitled to accrued vacation pay at the time of departure and the law requires employer to pay for accrued PTO.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:59 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:35 pm
I'm an employment lawyer myself, and this is in no way legal advice, but figured I'd give some input on the vacation issue. What you are entitled to at the time of your separation largely depends on three things: (i) the state you are in, (ii) what your company policy says about vacation payout, and (iii) how your company treats PTO generally (particular with regard to the separation between sick and vacation time).

Some states require that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out at the time of separation. For example, NY requires that unused, accrued vacation time be paid out. But employers in NY are able to avoid payout if they have a clearly-stated policy that they will not pay it out on separation. Without that kind of disclaimer (typically found in an employee handbook), they would typically be required to pay out the vacation (to the extent it has actually be accured). In states like CA, employers don't even have the option to disclaim it. Most states, however, just defer to whatever the employer's stated policy is on vacation payout.

And make sure to distinguish between sick and vacation time (unless your company lumps both into a combined PTO program). I'm not aware of any state that requires the employer to pay out for unused, accrued sick time. That includes CA and NY. But if the employer doesn't break down sick days from vacation/personal, and just uses a general PTO bank for all uses, then it would likely all be treated under the vacation rules.

If you are entitled to payout of unused, accrued vacation (whether by state law or company policy), they can't force you to stay and take the PTO prior to leaving (though they can certainly encourage current employees to use their PTO, rather than keep their banks high). You could just quit any time you wish and they would still be entitled to pay out the remaining time. You have no obligation to remain employed until all of the PTO is actually used up.
Is there any benefit to quitting and getting the payout, as opposed to using up the PTO while remaining employed? And what is the benefit to the firm for having me use up my PTO as opposed to paying me the lump sum? I am in the state where the policy clearly states that I am entitled to accrued vacation pay at the time of departure and the law requires employer to pay for accrued PTO.
Well let's say your new job starts October 1st and you were originally leaving this current job on September 30th. If you quit now and get the payout, then you obviously lose the salary for September. The benefit to the firm is they save on paying you out a lump sum for your PTO.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:11 am

I recently resigned to go in-house and was treated hostilely by a couple members of my team, but not by the firm itself. Many people actually went out of their way to be nice to me over my last couple weeks, even if only through email, so it was quite jarring to have a few of my ex-teammates act childishly on the way out (and it left me with a lasting bad impression of them and of the firm, to be honest).

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:14 pm
Currently dealing with a pretty hostile exit after giving notice at my firm and wanted to hear whether this is the norm / if anyone else has seen anything similar. Basically, after giving notice to my v10, I was de-staffed from all my matters immediately, denied lump sum vacation pay, instead forced into vacation for the remaining accrued PTO. The firm also tried to take an issue with the fact that I didn't give heads up about conflict check (I passed it with my new firm). This seems a little absurd but are firms engaging in practices like this now because of COVID?
In my exit I was super busy on active matters initially, but then destaffed pretty rapidly once imminent deadlines were addressed, and encouraged to take my vacation on the way out. I was aware from some colleagues that they had been legitimately busy in their notice period and so hadn't taken any PTO, so I just politely refused to bill any time to PTO and the issue was dropped. I also heard very different attitudes about doing conflicts. Some partners are just more sensitive and prickly.

ksm6969

New
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by ksm6969 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:14 pm
Currently dealing with a pretty hostile exit after giving notice at my firm and wanted to hear whether this is the norm / if anyone else has seen anything similar. Basically, after giving notice to my v10, I was de-staffed from all my matters immediately, denied lump sum vacation pay, instead forced into vacation for the remaining accrued PTO. The firm also tried to take an issue with the fact that I didn't give heads up about conflict check (I passed it with my new firm). This seems a little absurd but are firms engaging in practices like this now because of COVID?
I don't think destaffing after giving notice is all that abnormal. Work quality often goes to shit once notice is given-- I've had to pick up people's work after they had given notice (or decided to leave but prior to giving notice) and it was obvious that work quality decreased dramatically once they gave notice/decided to leave. FWIW, I was destaffed after I gave notice (not neccesarily 'immediately'-- I was able to finish a few things that were mostly all done-- but certainly quickly).

The forced vacation thing is just a way to save money-- they could also just fire you now (assuming no contractual limitations on their ability to fire at-will), and pay your vacation as lump sum and come out even (or partly ahead, depending on if/when they pay your health insurance premiums and other benefits). They probably dont want to do that because it requires more paperwork, theres a chance you would file unemployment or something, and its just messy overall. Forcing you to take vacation is just a nicer way of accomplishing the same thing. It is kind of cheap--they are essentially just saving money on your salary between notice and termination-- but i'm not sure its really 'hostile.' (Firing you right away and paying lump sum vacation would be much more hostile, and probably require you to report you had been fired). You can always refuse to take your vacation and force their hand (either they fire you or pay you for working + vacation time), but that would be burning bridges on your prat.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:39 pm

That's unusual but not unheard of. Some of my friends have been terminated immediately upon giving notice. One was even escorted out by security. Most partners are respectful but some handle departures extremely poorly.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:17 pm

ksm6969 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:47 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:14 pm
Currently dealing with a pretty hostile exit after giving notice at my firm and wanted to hear whether this is the norm / if anyone else has seen anything similar. Basically, after giving notice to my v10, I was de-staffed from all my matters immediately, denied lump sum vacation pay, instead forced into vacation for the remaining accrued PTO. The firm also tried to take an issue with the fact that I didn't give heads up about conflict check (I passed it with my new firm). This seems a little absurd but are firms engaging in practices like this now because of COVID?
I don't think destaffing after giving notice is all that abnormal. Work quality often goes to shit once notice is given-- I've had to pick up people's work after they had given notice (or decided to leave but prior to giving notice) and it was obvious that work quality decreased dramatically once they gave notice/decided to leave. FWIW, I was destaffed after I gave notice (not neccesarily 'immediately'-- I was able to finish a few things that were mostly all done-- but certainly quickly).

The forced vacation thing is just a way to save money-- they could also just fire you now (assuming no contractual limitations on their ability to fire at-will), and pay your vacation as lump sum and come out even (or partly ahead, depending on if/when they pay your health insurance premiums and other benefits). They probably dont want to do that because it requires more paperwork, theres a chance you would file unemployment or something, and its just messy overall. Forcing you to take vacation is just a nicer way of accomplishing the same thing. It is kind of cheap--they are essentially just saving money on your salary between notice and termination-- but i'm not sure its really 'hostile.' (Firing you right away and paying lump sum vacation would be much more hostile, and probably require you to report you had been fired). You can always refuse to take your vacation and force their hand (either they fire you or pay you for working + vacation time), but that would be burning bridges on your prat.
Agree with this. At my firm, most associates end up using some vacation time during the notice period. I don't know if they are forced/encouraged to do it but most seem pretty happy about it. But that was pre-COVID where I think they'd rather be away from the office than coming in to do nothing for a week just to collect a few more days of pay. Similar reason that people sometimes like to take a couple weeks off between jobs even though no one would be paying them.

Usual time frame I see with a two week notice is to take a few days to transition things, go on vacation or come into the office and do nothing for about a week and then have a happy hour or something on your last day. Whether partners show up to the happy hour seems to depend more if you are exiting in-house or public service but everyone is still generally pleasant even if you are lateraling to another firm. But if the firm knew you were actively trying take clients/business with you, then I could see things being a bit more hostile.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:39 pm
That's unusual but not unheard of. Some of my friends have been terminated immediately upon giving notice. One was even escorted out by security. Most partners are respectful but some handle departures extremely poorly.
Lol I've seen this before too. It was ridiculous and it was largely because the partners were hating hard on associates leaving for better firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:39 pm
That's unusual but not unheard of. Some of my friends have been terminated immediately upon giving notice. One was even escorted out by security. Most partners are respectful but some handle departures extremely poorly.
OP here -- is it because the firm feels betrayed by the associate who was especially valued, or that the firm just doesn't like the associate?

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3503
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by nealric » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:11 am
I recently resigned to go in-house and was treated hostilely by a couple members of my team, but not by the firm itself. Many people actually went out of their way to be nice to me over my last couple weeks, even if only through email, so it was quite jarring to have a few of my ex-teammates act childishly on the way out (and it left me with a lasting bad impression of them and of the firm, to be honest).
Usually when you announce you are going in house you suddenly become everybody's best friend. But this sort of thing can be very dependent on interpersonal factors and firm culture.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350773
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hostile exit after resignation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:33 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:39 pm
That's unusual but not unheard of. Some of my friends have been terminated immediately upon giving notice. One was even escorted out by security. Most partners are respectful but some handle departures extremely poorly.
OP here -- is it because the firm feels betrayed by the associate who was especially valued, or that the firm just doesn't like the associate?
It was driven by individual partners being crazy, not by firm policy. In one instance an associate was terminated immediately and then asked by another partner to come back for a week to transition her matters (she thought about saying "too bad you already fired me" but did the responsible thing).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a friend was told by a partner that he could not leave for six months until his case finished. HR stepped in and informed the partner that he had no authority to block associates from leaving.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”