Leaving the Company Hangin'!

Hello forum! Our company has one DON position that oversees the nursing department. She resigned, giving 3 weeks' notice. Prior to resignation, she had requested time off, which according to our current policy, she is entitled to. However, it has taken away time from us to hire and train a new DON to replace her.

Delaware is an "at-will" state, so we can't determine how much notice she has to give, but how can we stop them from taking previously requested time off when they resign?


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  • Don't your employees have to have the leave approved, even if it is available? In your situation, we would revoke the approval. It is understood here that employees are given leave whenever possible, unless it interferes with business needs. If an employee schedules time off and our business needs change, the approval is rescinded.

    If an employee is terminating, we never allow them to use leave the last two weeks unless such leave would somehow fill a business need (only has happened once since I started doing HR here in 2001). If she insisted, we would consider her not coming in as a no-show and she would be termed effective that day.
  • Some people just don't seem to understand taking vacation is not serving out your notice. I had one fellow tell me he was leaving that day for vacation and not coming back. He insisted that was his 2 week notice. I terminated him that day and explained to him that any future reference I was asked for would include that he left without notice.

    In an at-will state no notice is legally required, however, 2 weeks is customary (on both sides). I favor terminating the employee immediately as NaeNae said, but sometimes the departments won't go along because they need the help. Certainly, I would not keep an employee on payroll beyond the last day they intend to work. I have to pay out the PTO time either way, but would save on the benefits.
  • We would list their date of termination as their last day worked and add the vacation pay due them to their last payroll check.
  • In the vast majority of business, you can dictate whether an employee can actually take vacation time and you can also then retract any approval previously given citing business needs. However, one item to note since I don't see that anyone else has mentioned it, but since we are talking about Nurses, I presume that there might be a union involved here so a collective bargaining agreement on this topic might be a good review to do before making any decisions. Hope that helps.
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