our office won’t tell us in advance when people leave – and sometimes won’t confirm or deny if someone still works here

A reader writes:

I wanted to reach out about something I perceive as “odd” in our workplace, but, this is my first full-time, professional office job so I wasn’t sure if I’m just not used to a normal practice!

Our office generally has a unique culture, because we are almost like an “outpost” office attached alongside the company’s warehouse. Our corporate headquarters office is in a different location, and they have a much more professional atmosphere than we do. As a result, we often don’t get many of the perks the headquarters employees enjoy, and are treated noticeably differently.

One curious way this manifests is that our management doesn’t allow our coworkers to share that they’re leaving the company until the very day before they will no longer be working for us. Then, they make sure the coworker doesn’t announce it themselves, but that a senior member draws everyone together to make the announcement for them to the whole team. It’s not only jarring, but has also caused significant disruptions in the workflow. Recently, two team leads have left in this fashion, with only a day to redistribute new tasks among the remaining team. We realized that many of their duties weren’t discussed in the shortened timeline, and we’ve had to do a lot of detective work to accommodate. I’ve confirmed with both coworkers that they were made to sign a document saying that they couldn’t tell anyone they were leaving. Also, our managers don’t tell us when a coworker has a family emergency or is sick for an extended period, and will refuse to confirm or deny their continued employment, even after weeks of absence, which gets worrying when you care about the person!

When this lack of transparency is hinted to management, they double down and get defensive over their choice not to tell us, citing negotiations to keep the coworker. However, it honestly feels like a power play, and makes us feel like children — like we can’t handle the truth and it must be mitigated. However, I could be totally off-base, which is why I’d love your opinion. Is this a common management practice you’ve used? Do your offices work this way? Is there a way to bring this up that doesn’t sound accusatory?

Nope, this is not normal. It’s extremely weird!

There definitely are some offices that are weird and secretive about people leaving. It’s not at all the norm, but they’re out there. More often than not, it’s because they’re concerned about the appearance of high turnover (which is of course terrible logic, because it’s not like you’re not going to notice the person is suddenly gone.)

And it’s a terrible practice! It creates a culture where people don’t trust their management to give them relevant information, and where people feel they’re not trusted to be able to handle totally routine and normal information. Plus, as you note, it creates a ton of inefficiencies because people don’t have time to get information from the person who’s leaving or fully transition their work.

It’s particularly odd that your company makes resigning employees sign a document saying they won’t tell anyone they’re leaving. They have very little leverage over people at that point, so ideally people would simply decline to sign. Any chance that lots of your coworkers are relatively young and inexperienced and thus don’t realize they could or should push back on that?

It’s also especially strange that your company is similarly secretive when someone is out for an extended period and won’t tell you whether or not they still work there! I can’t imagine what their rationale would be for that, which makes me think that your company is run by people with severe control issues, and I’m betting they’re weirdly controlling or secretive in other ways.

                                                                    unrelated image for Valentine’s Day

{ 198 comments… read them below }

  1. Detective Amy Santiago*

    I wonder if they are trying to prevent people from discussing why they are leaving in an effort to prevent a mass exodus.

        1. NutellaNutterson*

          That’s what they want you to think! (Also as a courtesy to co-workers in confined spaces, please find out what your body does with Soylent, maybe over a long weekend.)

          1. SavannahMiranda*

            I love Soylent! It no longer has…errr…unfortunate restroom related consequences for those who use it. They changed the formula away from that ingredient many versions ago.

            But I know that doesn’t mean it agrees with everyone!

    1. Long Time Reader, First Time Poster*

      I think that the idea is normalizing sudden departures that are not announced by the departing employee… because that’s what a dismissal looks like. This way they can fire people without ever having to worry about a hit to morale, since leaving at will and getting canned look exactly the same.

      1. Someone Else*

        True, but does not explain the nonsense about refusing to confirm if someone is on vacation or sick or some other form of leave. Hell, even if policy were always to call any type of leave “leave” without elaboration would make more sense than “he might’ve been fired, he might’ve quit, he might be ill, or he might be at Disney World with his kids and will be back next week; we won’t tell you which.”

        1. wittyrepartee*

          No, that’s not true. What if someone get suspended because of questions about their conduct, or something like that?

          1. Someone Else*

            I’m not following what you’re getting at? My point is there is merit to semi-normalizing “so-and-so’s gone” messaging to lessen the massively obvious difference between someone obviously fired but they’re not explicitly saying so vs someone who quit vs all the in betweens. It doesn’t mean there aren’t some circumstances where the company would want to make it explicitly clear what happened…there are good reasons to do so. Especially when there are security concerns and you need to make sure someone doesn’t come back.
            But in more run of the mill “they’re fired but we’re letting them keep it ambiguous”, the very common practice of “so and so is moving on to bigger and better things, and we’re so excited for them, and we wish them the very best, and they’ll be so missed” (person quit) vs “so and so’s last day is tomorrow” (person was fired) leaves nothing to the imagination when the latter happens. Everyone knows that person was fired anyway due to the lack of fanfare. So making that chasm smaller is, I think, in many cases worth it.
            That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to always use the exact same language every time anyone leaves, regardless of why. And it definitely doesn’t mean it makes sense to not confirm if someone is temporarily OOO vs no longer employed there.

            1. jb*

              This is not a problem a good organization should have.

              If you’re firing that many people that regularly for cause, and are not in a field where that is normal and unremarkable, then there are deeper problems in your organization than employees being able to tell if Joe Smith quit or was fired.

              1. Someone Else*

                I said nothing about frequency. I don’t think the frequency of firing has anything to do with the point I was making. I personally don’t care if the company tells everyone explicitly “so and so was fired for being incompetent”, but in my experience many employers try to let departing people save face by not outright saying that, and not outright confirming that it was a firing if anyone asks. It’s not about overall morale, but about a theoretical kindness to the fired person. If you’re going to make it super obvious what happened anyway, there’s no point in the language that dances around it. So, to those employers who prefer not to always explicitly “out” people who were fired, if it’s actually important to them to make some of those cases ambiguous, they should actually make it ambiguous.

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  I see what you’re saying, but that would be really odd. The vast majority of employers manage to get by without doing this, still protect the dignity of the fired person, and don’t cause weird trust/transparency issues or work efficiency problems from extreme secrecy.

        2. boo bot*

          Refusing to confirm whether someone is on leave or permanently gone does make sense if you want your workers to live in a constant state of uncertainty that will, theoretically, keep them anxious to please and fearful of conflict. Or something.

          I’m not saying it’s enough all on its own, but in this scenario I’m assuming they’re using a multi-pronged approach.

      2. MusicWithRocksInIt*

        My old company used to do this. They would fire people suddenly – and then just never tell anyone that that person was gone. You would eventually just go looking for someone because they never responded to their emails, and when you found their desk empty someone would whisper to you that they were gone. There was never any announcement about it at all – including zero information on who would handle their tasks going forward. When people left on their own they wouldn’t let them say anything – which we mostly think happened because they wanted to make the departures the same as when they fired someone. A TON of stuff fell through the cracks because no one took up the duties of people when they left/were fired.

        1. Brandy*

          I once kept emailing someone about an account and this was going on for several weeks. Then she just quit responding. I kept emailing and finally someone finally mentioned that she no longer worked for us. No one as checking her email or bothered mentioning it. Very frustrating.

        2. Wendy Darling*

          My current company is good about it on my specific team, but anyone who doesn’t report to my boss the only way I find out they’ve left is suddenly one day they’re ‘Presence Unknown’ on Skype instead of online or offline. This is how I found out my contact in IT had left the company. :(

        3. Triplestep*

          Similarly, I reported to a guy who would often have a random person added to his team from elsewhere in his boss’ organization (typically someone whose work had nothing to do with the rest of ours) and then POOF they’d be gone! The rest of us would not be told, and it typically took a while to figure out since these were always individual contributors whose work did not overlap.

          At one point I did ask my boss if he could let us know when his happened. He was a really nice guy, but avoided conflict like the plague. Still, this happened often enough that I can imagine being told you were going to be added to his team must have prompted fear and dread!

          1. Rebecca1*

            To elaborate: I once found out that the email reports I’d been sending to my direct supervisor had been going into a black hole for three or four weeks. We worked in different offices and nobody told me she’d left. I talked to some of her other reports- literally nobody had any idea she was gone. Some of my travel reimbursements didn’t happen for six months because of this mess.

        4. Thinking out loud*

          YES. More than once, I showed up for a regularly-scheduled meeting with a contact, and someone else was already sitting in their desk! It was a widely known fact that the IT organization created a ticket each time someone left the company, so many coworkers checked those IT tickets regularly to keep tabs on who was leaving. That company had a lot of turnover, and we all felt like they were trying to hide it – but if that was the goal, they were not successful.

      3. Observer*

        Yes, they don’t have to worry about the hit to morale that a firing causes, because they’ve tanked morale with this nonsense.

    2. Trout 'Waver*

      It may be that they counter-offer people and don’t want others to know they can get more money if they threaten to leave?

      I mean, that’s still a stupid reason, but it’s the first thing I thought of.

    3. OP*

      Yep, I definitely think this has something to do with it. These were all important, hardworking people who left big shoes to fill behind them, and I’m getting the vibe that management is absolutely terrified the rest of us will get the gumption to follow suit.

      1. Detective Amy Santiago*

        Sounds like there is some shady shit going on. You may want to start looking for something else.

        Can you reach out to any of the people who left? If you don’t have contact info, maybe try LinkedIn or even Facebook.

  2. Colette*

    I really wonder what the departing employees are getting in response for signing that document (and, for that matter, what the business is getting out of the secrecy).

        1. Czhorat*

          Yeah, but that that point the departing employee likely already has another job.

          Once you’ve decided to leave, there isn’t much they can do to hurt you. It might be a strange fight to choose, but what is the worst they can do if you simply say, “No, I’m not comfortable signing that”?

            1. Susana*

              Then the employee is lucky not to have jumped from one bad situation to another. If someone pulled a job offer because I upset my current boss simply by telling people of a development in my own darn life… well, I don’t want to work there.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Typically you want the reference for the next next job, not the one you’re leaving for (where you hopefully didn’t have to give your manager as a reference, since they didn’t know you were looking). It becomes an issue when you’re leaving the next job.

            1. Czhorat*

              That’s a fair point, but if the employer is this irrational I’m not sure I’d count on a reference from them in any event.

          2. Emily K*

            In most US states, vacation payout is not required by law except to the extent that a company must adhere to its own policies/contractual promises to pay out vacation. They can put a stipulation in their policy that vacation is only paid out to employees in good standing who work their full notice period, and then they can tell resigning employees that they will only be allowed to work their notice period if they sign the agreement, and my layperson understanding is that in all but a few states with mandatory payout laws that would be legal.

        2. College Career Counselor*

          Positive reference, for sure. Leverage could also include whether or not to pay out vacation time, whether or not you will get a severance package or other benefit, possibly immediate termination for cause (because you disobeyed a direct order not to say anything). They want to control the perception as much as possible, and that includes everything from “we don’t want you bad-mouthing the company on your way out” to “we don’t want you recruiting people to go with you” to “you’ll tank the morale of your team” to “we think your leaving makes us look bad, so we want to muzzle you”.

      1. AnonAnon*

        I can never figure this out. So many of these posts have employers making weird demands of people who have already given their notice. What are they going to do? Fire you?

    1. Ann O'Nemity*

      Severance? Or maybe they have to sign in order to be allowed to work their notice period and not get fired on the spot.

      1. OhNo*

        That was my thought. They might be presented with the document and told their options are to sign it or get walked out the door by security immediately. Especially if others there are like the LW, and early in their career, I can see signing it to ensure a decent reference or avoid a gap in income.

      2. EPLawyer*

        This was my thought. Not a lot of people can afford to go two weeks without pay. So if the choice is sign and get to work out your two weeks or not sign and be walked out the door immediately most people would sign. Add in the fear of a negative reference in the future and you have people doubly scared. Although presumably people are leaving for a new job and references were already checked.

        1. Emily K*

          In the US, yes, as long as they aren’t selectively doing it to people based on membership in a protected class.

          1. Mike*

            It does seem though, that a law banning employers from punishing employees who voluntarily announce they’re leaving in 2 weeks would be pretty popular. Like the kind of thing we could lobby for. Who would oppose it?

    2. Antilles*

      I would assume it’s either part of their severance agreement or threatening to not give any references in the future. Plus probably a good bit of cajoling and guilt-tripping.

      1. Colette*

        Generally, you don’t get severance if you quit. So unless there’s something option (e.g. paying out vacation), there’s not much they can do.

    3. Marthooh*

      Could be severance, a reference, or just The Voice Of Authority. It doesn’t have to be much, though — people who are leaving don’t have incentive to try to change the workplace culture.

    4. feministbookworm*

      It sounds to me from the comment “[…] citing negotiations to keep the coworker” and given OP’s comment about the people leaving being hardworking, well-liked coworkers leaving big shoes to fill, I wonder if the org is somehow hoping they’ll change the leaving coworkers’ minds at the last minute. When I left my last job, our chief of staff was disappointed that news of my departure had traveled extremely quickly around the office, leaving the org no time to come up with a counteroffer without it being awkward and setting a kind of weird public precedent. (I wouldn’t have taken a counteroffer anyways, for all the reasons Alison writes about…)

    5. Heynonniemouse*

      Honestly, why wouldn’t people sign? They’ve already arranged their escape from the dysfunctional hellhole. If management want to screw over their own business by refusing to let employees hand over work in a controlled way, that’s very much no longer the employees’ problem. If it was me I’d just sign and get out of there with as little fuss as possible.

  3. Thornus67*

    Regarding not explaining when someone is gone due to an illness, my guess is they have received very bad advice and think disclosing there’s an illness in general and whether the person still works there would somehow violate HIPAA and/or ADA. That’s wrong of course, but that’s what I would guess.

    1. Anonymeece*

      But that’s so bizarre. I mean, this isn’t, “Sue has a family member fighting cancer,” this is, “Does Sue still work here? I haven’t seen her in three weeks.” “Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t! Back to work!”.

      Like, I just can’t even imagine what *not confirming they still work there* comes from. You don’t even have to say anything about if they’re sick or not! Just “Sue will be out for the foreseeable future but plans to return. For now, let’s do X, Y, and Z…”

    2. Samwise*

      You don’t have to say anything about why someone is out, all you have to say is, Gertrude is out on leave for a couple of weeks and Hamlet will be taking care of her poison cup duties while she’s out (I’m feeling the need for a change from teapots and llamas…)

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Also if they want a good reference, they have to play by their ridiculous rules. It’s the last thing they can exercise their power of authority over. It could switch from “voluntary leave” to “involuntary, not eligible for rehire” nonsense.

    2. Chaordic One*

      In some states employers are not legally obligated to pay out unused vacation time, so it could be something like that. (Sign this agreement and we’ll pay you for your unused vacation time, or don’t sign and lose it.)

      1. fposte*

        It’s also possible for a contract to be illegal or beyond legal enforcement even if somebody gets something in exchange, so it’s a reasonable question.

      2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I don’t blame you! It only dawned on me due to knowing people who’ve worked for such cruddy employers and being an active reader of this blog for so long…just argh. Yeah, they have control up to the end in ways.

        Now if they’re not paying you out anything special and you don’t need a reference, like how I have ended 95% of my jobs in the future, I’d laugh at them and make a very public “blaze of glory” announcement to watch them all scream/cry and hate me forever due to my horrible spiteful “you’re not the boss of me/no longer the boss of me” streak.

  4. MassMatt*

    Many companies handle announcing departures poorly, this one ups the ante with handling long term absences poorly also. So someone is out for 3 weeks, you have no idea whether they are on leave, out sick, or no longer working there? That is bizarre. It reminds me of Orwell’s 1984. The first day someone is absent people talk about how s/he must be sick. The second day, they are never mentioned again, they have become an UN-person.

    OP this is not normal, I hope (unless other aspects of the job are good, to compensate–which I doubt) you can move on soon and not have this warp your sense of normalcy.

    1. Busy*

      Their reasoning is so thin that it does make you think what dystopian nightmare is going on here? Are we being drugged into an alternative reality that they only release us from our last day? Are we told we are working for a cause that is just to keep us busy? IS OUR PRODUCT MADE OF PEOPLE?!?

      What? Why all the hiding?

      1. Jennifer Juniper*

        I’m picturing a Cloud Atlas scenario, where the fired employees are being told they will be released to a new opportunity, but then they are hit with a stun bolt and turned into the next employee luncheon.

        1. Fake old Converse shoes (not in the US)*

          And I thought about Fullmetal Alchemist Lab 5. Good to see a Cloud Atlas reference, though

    2. Armchair Analyst*

      My manager left on a Thursday – he quit because he wasn’t told individually that his position/rank was changing; it was announced in a C-level meeting he was attending. Surprise!

      The next Monday I did an orientation for 5 new hires and told them that if they have any concerns about X, to let me or my manager know. Then I sent him an email – it bounced back.

      I sniffed around and found out the story. But no one officially mentioned it to me until the next Thursday – a week.

    3. Wired Wolf*

      My team has had a couple really good people recently who just…vanished. Nobody knows what happened, and we’re ‘discouraged’ by managers from asking about them.

      I was able to find out from a FE supervisor that my immediate predecessor essentially was fired–she was taking a leave of absence related to the industry (which they knew about–a slow-food tourism trip to Italy sponsored by a few of our partners) retail manager basically said “so you don’t want to work here anymore”.

  5. CatCat*

    “When this lack of transparency is hinted to management, they double down and get defensive over their choice not to tell us, citing negotiations to keep the coworker.”


    Negotiations to keep the co-worker? Management, your chance to fix the reason the person is leaving was BEFORE they put in their notice. Another sign that they don’t know what they’re doing.

    1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      “We made them a counter-offer and don’t understand why they didn’t take it.” That’s the only thing I can think of that would count as negotiations.

  6. WellRed*

    Any way to tip off the corporate HQ? Though, I am not sure they would care? This whole thing is weird, but if nothing else, why would the onsite managers want to disrupt workflow?

    If this is still happening when you leave for saner pastures, refuse to sign that document and report back, LW.

    1. Anna*

      I wonder if it could be brought to someone else’s attention because of the disruption it causes. The team is left scrambling to uncover what the departed person did or what projects they have left open, which means work isn’t getting done and I’m 100% sure that means departments outside of theirs are affected. I think that might be a worthwhile starting point.

    2. Chaordic One*

      If the employer has an EAP, maybe you could say something to them and they could inquire on your behalf. Of course this does have its own risks as many EAPs do not actually provide the confidentiality they claim they do.

      1. Armchair Analyst*

        This is not what an EAP is for, in my experience. EAP is not a forum to discuss to management issues with semi-confidentiality; it is a resource for your personal life that corporate negotiates discounts for.

        Maybe your EAP is different…?

      2. LizB*

        What you’re describing sounds less like an EAP and more like a whistleblower line or ethics hotline or something. I’m not sure how many workplaces have those, but it’s possible the OP does, so that could be an option.

  7. blink14*

    The company my father works for is owned by a much larger, European company. His location is relatively small, but they still have to follow the head company’s policy on firing. He is letting someone go this week, and has had to come up with a reason for the person to bring in their work laptop and they have to be let go same day, escorted to their desk for a short time to pick up personal items, and anything else is mailed to them. My father is uncomfortable with it, but they have to follow policy, in case the firing comes back as a discrimination lawsuit (the person would be considered a minority).

    In my own experience, I’ve witnessed one on the spot firing at my old job, and several “so and so is moving on” but really fired situations at my current job at a university. In the firings at my current job (all mostly in a related department in my division), a few were after performance improvement evaluations, one was totally out of the blue and the person had no idea, and a few were sort of known unofficially, and then there were awkward goodbye parties about the person finding “a new opportunity” which really was them being fired and now unemployed.

    Fortunately our division was recently assigned a division specific HR person, which should help, but yea, I haven’t seen a lot of long term or even a few days ahead official notice about firings.

    Personal leave and stuff like that is a little more lenient, so I’d say your company is being weird on keeping even vague information tied up so tight, but there could have been a situation in the past that has now produced such a secretive environment.

    1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      Having to follow a policy when firing someone is completely different than what the letter describes here. I’ve been laid off twice in the past, and each time my team was told after it happened. You can’t keep quiet when someone gives notice and expect the ones left to figure out how to do their job immediately and with no training.

      1. blink14*

        It’s happened multiple times at my current job – a day or two notice that someone is leaving (and this is both to their own office and the wider community), rarely is a replacement lined up in time.

      2. wittyrepartee*

        I worked at a place that just called you into a meeting, gathered up your things during the meeting, and did not explain to any of their employees what had happened. It happened to three people before it happened to me. It was like, the walk of shame. While I was getting fired, I kept thinking about how my one friend in the company must be feeling as they emptied my desk into my box of shame.

    2. ICantRememberMyLastUsername*

      How else do you fire a person? “Hey Susie, your performance is not meeting expectations. Your last day will be two weeks from today?”

      1. blink14*

        Some places allow someone to finish out a week, or a few weeks, or set up a termination date for a few months out, if the employee would like to stay on and/or there is an agreement made that the person will stay on for x amount of time to allow for a replacement. It may be awkward, but sometimes the employee really needs the money.

        1. Anna*

          I actually haven’t seen a lot of discussion on this blog about someone being fired for cause allowed to stick around to finish things up, so…maybe less snark.

      2. pleaset*


        At my organization it can be as little as a day to as long as a few weeks, depending on the position and how bad it is.

        And with layoffs (not firings) weeks to months.

    3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      It all boils down to “why” they’re being terminated. If it’s a layoff, then it’s easier to say “your last day is June 23rd.” but if it’s immediate because their poor behaviors or they’re in a position with lots of areas they could sabotage, then it’s best to do it the sneakier way! Termination is emotional and leads to a lot of issues, both business and personal. You can never be too careful in that sense. That’s how you get someone coming in afterwards, with their security clearance still intact and hurting others or just taking out confidential information/destroying systems, etc!

      Unlike when someone quits on their own. Then it’s still on their terms and they’re probably headed to greener pastures, so they’re not in absolute distress over losing their job!

      I’ve seen people “laid off” both immediately and with notice. Watching a guy ride out a week’s notice stunk for him, he was like a dead man walking. It also stunk when we let someone go immediately.

      I knew in advance and it was gut wrenching to have to carry that cross around until the axe dropped on the designated date. One was actually just one morning I got a text saying “Today we have to lay off A Buyer, meeting in my office at 3pm with you and him [since it was my department but thankfully I only had to witness the horrid moment]” That was the guy that got a week’s notice so he could “clean up” and give his projects to others. Whereas the other one was a laborer and so cutting them when they worked day-to-day duties didn’t require anything to be prepared for passing on, etc.

      Termination stinks. It’s the worst part of business. I say that after seeing businesses actually close down due to bankruptcy. Closing a business isn’t the worst, letting people go is.

  8. Antilles*

    I’ve worked at a place where the standard was basically to just straight up ‘disappear’ employees* – no matter if you left voluntarily or were laid off, you’re out the door carrying boxes 15 minutes later with no official notification from anybody, ever. And this actually seems weirder than that to me, because the one day of notification seems that it’s likely to make things even more awkward than simply nothing whatsoever.
    *I’ve told this story a couple times before, but I always love telling it, so here we go again. At ExJob, they were doing preliminary layoffs starting on Thursday while they finalized their messaging and company-wide announcements for mass layoffs starting the following week. The intent was that since it happened on Thursday, they could hustle a few of the early people out and it would just look like a bunch of people were on vacation or whatever. I was one of the first people laid off on Thursday. While I was cleaning out my office under the watchful eyes of HR, the phone rang. I automatically answered it without thinking, then remembered “oh yeah, I don’t actually work here any more”, interrupted the guy on the other end trying to ask a project question telling him I’d been laid off, then hung up. The HR rep went white as a sheet, then ran out of the room. I later found out from friends who survived that my unintentional off-the-cuff response had screwed up the entire messaging for the company-wide layoff plan.

    1. irene adler*

      Hahahahahaha! That’s a good one!
      (If you’ve told this one before, I don’t recall reading it. So thank you for telling it again! I’ve got to remember this one.)

      Guess someone didn’t think about the little details in their plan.

    2. CatCat*

      I don’t understand their approach. Like people don’t know each other and won’t tell each other what happened on Thursday?

      I’m sorry you got laid off, but I’m glad you shared this great little story.

    3. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      Someone from ExJob did this too! He was fired in the middle of a call with a coworker at the client offices, and when he returned he said “I’m sorry dude, I have to hang up now, I’ve just been fired”.

    4. AnonAnon*

      What’s to stop people from just talking to each other? What did they seriously think was going to happen? Like you weren’t going to text your friends and say, “Hey guys, I just got fired.”

      1. Bulbasaur*

        From personal experience, nothing fires the office gossip network into overdrive quite like the prospect of impending layoffs, or (even more so) the possibility that Layoffs Might Be Happening Right This Minute. In most of my workplaces where this happened, you’d know within about 5 minutes – maybe 10 if you weren’t very well connected. Any shared calendars are likely being watched like a hawk, so if you make a last-minute booking for a meeting room with a vague-sounding name (or set it to private) you might as well run up a flag.

  9. The Ginger Ginger*

    If ONLY your branch is acting this way, and it’s not the way the main location handles exits, can you reach out to the main HR or someone higher up who has visibility over both campuses? Because this is absurd, but MIGHT be fixable if the majority (or primary branch) of the company doesn’t run this way, and if they would care that it’s being handled this poorly at your location.

  10. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    Wow that’s ridiculous. The point of given 2 weeks notice (or whatever duration) is to transition your work to others so that your work continues to get done after you leave. You can’t expect people to start doing someone else’s work with no formal training or the ability to ask questions of the person who used to do the job. And while the company can’t discuss details of why a person is on extended leave, they need to communicate the length of leave, so you know what to expect as far as covering for them while they’re gone. I’m not sure how long you’ve been there, or how easy it would be to find a new job, but I would start searching. There is no logical reason for this and I would suspect that they’re either trying to cover something up or don’t know how to run a business effectively and things will only get worse.

    1. Ice Storm*

      Yeah, I’ve been wondering if these are $cientology-related organizations. Two words: Shelley Miscavage.

  11. ThatGirl*

    I’ve been at my current job about 18 months, and I’ve seen complete inconsistency in the way departures are handled. I’ve seen:

    a) long term worker retiring with several months’ notice
    b) announcement that someone had found a new job and would be leaving in ~2 weeks
    c) “so and so found a new opportunity and yesterday was her last day”
    d) someone being quietly walked out and being told they “no longer work here”
    e) several people disappearing and then being told they were laid off/their positions eliminated
    f) someone coming up to me and telling me it was her last day, teary-eyed after a meeting

    C and F have really made me wonder – F was my former team lead and I still don’t know if she quit or was let go!

    1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      Honestly none of these seem out of the ordinary. Lay offs and firings are usually immediate, which could account for all but the first 2. But when someone gives notice, keeping it a secret is definitely not normal.

    2. Black Bellamy*

      IMHO none of these scenarios demonstrate a lack of consistency. People leave in various ways and you can’t treat them all the same way. For example, would you want to treat a long-time dependable worker who announces his intention to resign the same way as someone who refuses to do any work or has been caught stealing? Both escorted out that same day? Or both given two weeks to train the replacement staff?

    3. That Girl From Quinn's House*

      C: Quit without notice, especially if they quit before they could be fired.
      D: Fired, and the situation surrounding the termination was contentious such that the person could not be allowed to remain on the premises
      E: Laid off
      F: Fired, but the person was terminated on otherwise good terms with the company such that they could finish out their day to pack up and transition.

      1. Shad*

        C could also mean they quit and security policy for that position prevents the option of working out a notice period. I know that’s the case at least for attorneys at my law firm, though at least the attorney who’s quit in my short time there did some prep work and let the rest of us in the office know before he officially gave notice, so we were able to start organizing around it.

    4. pleaset*

      Some amount of inconsistency in time frame is normal – an employee retiring is different than an employee massively screwing something up – one could have months notice, and the later a day or less. And both would be reasonable.

    5. TardyTardis*

      I was a)–we had a potluck and a cake and a really neat book signed by just about everyone. It was a little slice of hell in its way, but we mostly liked each other a lot.

    1. NYWeasel*

      I can’t believe I had to scroll this far down to find a post about this kitty hearts to respond to! So adorable!!

    1. Lora*

      One of my previous employers was a lot like this…and a lot like Theranos in other ways, too, including all the promises that this is the Next! Big! Thing! I keep waiting to hear about the inevitable doom, and am infinitely glad that my stay there was brief enough to see the crazy but not become entangled too deeply.

  12. ENFP in Texas*

    Fortune 500 Office Grunt here.

    Quite often the only indication we get that someone is leaving is when their email suddenly comes back as Undeliverable.

    For higher-level departures, we will sometimes get an organization-wide email from Management, maybe a week before (at most) and sometimes a day after the person’s last day.

    In tight-knit teams, the person leaving may send a “tomorrow is my last day, I’ve enjoyed working with you, here’s my contact info if you want to keep in touch” email to a handful of folks.

    It depends on the who and the why.

    1. Glitsy Gus*

      That’s how it is in my company too. I’ll be trying to email someone and I’ll get an “invalid address” error. I ask one of the other folks in the person’s department and find out they quite three weeks earlier. It’s really annoying because then I’m stuck trying to finish up my project without the questions I needed answered or that person’s piece of the puzzle included.

      1. Karen from Finance*

        When I left the big company I used to work for, I sent out one of those emails to a handful of people in my location. But I never got to say goodbye to any of the people in the other locations I talked and worked with daily, because any communications regarding changes to the team went through the managers, and mine neglected to do it. So I left on Friday basically having had to suggest to some people that we’d talk the following week. I still regret it, I wish I’d said goodbye.

  13. autumnal*

    Not right but wow do too many employers handle the very normal occurrence of employees coming and going ever so poorly. I get management not discussing why an employee left – that’s nobody’s business. But trying to exert this level of control over adults talking with one another only leads to suspicion and mistrust. I’ve come and gone from more than my fair share of jobs (moved around the country a lot) and most were quite reasonable about the departures. However…

    I worked briefly for a health insurance provider. They told employees they were not allowed to speak to former co-workers ever again or they’d lose their jobs. Another employer would fire people (they fired a lot of people, all the time) around lunch time and perp walk them out of the building. We’d come back from lunch to an email that “so-and-so doesn’t work here anymore,” and that was it. Both extremely dysfunctional bordering on toxic work environments, no surprise there.

    1. Daniel*

      “They told employees they were not allowed to speak to former co-workers ever again or they’d lose their jobs.”

      Talk about reeking with insecurity. How would they know? It’s not like were watching their employees 24/7.

      1. Jerry Vandesic*

        I wonder if this is legal? The National Labor Relations Board rules are clear that employees are free to discuss working conditions, including salaries. Would this apply to talking to former employees about working conditions? I would hope so, and wonder if any relevant cases have been litigated.

    2. seller of teapots*

      They told employees they were not allowed to speak to former co-workers ever again or they’d lose their jobs whaaaaat?!?!?! I can’t even wrap my head around that.

    3. pleaset*

      “I get management not discussing why an employee left – that’s nobody’s business. ”

      I don’t agree it’s nobody’s business. If they left on good terns, they should be encouraged to have that info public – “Moving on for grad school” or “heading to X to head up Y department.”

      And frankly, if they were poor performers letting others know in a respectful but meaningful way could help the morale of other employees, especially if the person was on a PIP. That helps others know that they would know in advance if their job was in danger.

      1. ENFP in Texas*

        No one should know if a person is on a PIP other than the employee and their management. Disciplinary actions should not be common knowledge. And why someone left is not anyone’s business – the generic “to pursue opportunities outside the company” is a nice all-purpose phrase.

  14. Earthwalker*

    My office did this particularly when the exit was non-voluntary. People who were waiting and waiting on Fergus to finish a job or return a phone call wouldn’t know he was gone. After awhile, sometimes weeks, a rumor would go around that was probably uglier than the plain truth, but at least everyone would find out that Fergus wasn’t on the job so they could deal with his missed deadlines. I asked our talent leadership if they couldn’t offer a noncommittal “Fergus is no longer with Acme Corp. If you have concerns about something he was working on, contact Wakeen.” But they said that was quite inappropriate, that they had to remain silent to protect the privacy of the exiting employee.

  15. Nox*

    This is very similar to how my departure at my old job was a few months back. I disregarded their desire of secrecy and on my last day my direct report made sure to decorate my desk with giant balloons and confetti and my fellow managers arranged a going away lunch during breaktime.

    My gut tells me they panicked dialed their HR consultants to see if they could legally rip my hair out.

  16. Murphy*

    We have a lot of people coming in and out lately, and it’s really confusing. They don’t go a good job of telling us when people are coming or going. I’m hoping that those that work more directly with these people are being informed, but at someone more on the outskirts, it just looks like a mess.

    Someone will tell you if you ask though, so we have that going for us at least.

  17. kittycritter*

    Not related to post but I love the kitties Valentine pic, it is adorable :) We also have a five-cat family!

  18. AliceBD*

    I’m part of the first wave of layoffs which people knew were coming due to a merger. We were told Monday last week and our last day is tomorrow. We can tell people in the company as a whole after 4pm today; we signed a thing saying that so we would get severance/PTO payout/etc. My duties adebeing handed off but the work I do interacts with a huge number of people and I don’t like that I don’t get to call or email all of them goodbye. I’m not even in the office tomorrow due to a medical appointment I had to move forward so it could be done while I still have insurance.

  19. yo*

    Push back on this…. This is 100% a SAFETY and SECURITY issue. You need to know who should and should not be in the building, period. Your colleagues need to be aware of who actively works there.

    People leave jobs. Sometimes voluntarily, other times involuntarily. If your company is worried about the optics of it, they need to figure out a better way to keep employees. And I would laugh in someone’s face if they told me not to tell anyone I was leaving a job. It’s weirder to hear it from a manager or some senior person than someone you are personally close with.

    1. The New Wanderer*

      It absolutely is a security issue at many types of offices. My offices require badging in at all times, and visitors have to be badged and escorted.

      A coworker who was assigned to my team disappeared one day. Nobody in management said a word and our work is such that we didn’t need to be in touch, and people work from home on a regular basis, so I didn’t think much about it until after several emails to him went unanswered. Finally I asked my manager who said CW doesn’t work there anymore. That would have been okay – abrupt, but okay – except that a week later, everyone in the division and the building distribution lists got a WARNING email from management saying CW had not returned his company laptop and badge and if anyone saw CW on the premises to report it immediately, don’t allow building access, etc. It was very concerning, especially since we had no idea what conditions he left under and things had been fairly contentious between our manager and him.

      A day later, everyone got the all clear message that things were fine. I had a talk with my senior manager about how it went down – like, I get that they’re obligated to tell us when there’s a potential security threat, but most of the people on the list had no idea this guy didn’t work there anymore and the only notice they got was this highly alarming message.

      We still get no official notification if people leave for reasons other than retirement (and then only if the retiree chooses), and at least no one is banned from telling people so a lot of people send farewell messages, but I do think it’s a management responsibility to at least say whether or not someone is still employed at a company where secure access is a Big Deal.

  20. Avocado Toast*

    I worked at a place like this!! I left for a legit reason, on good terms, and gave two weeks notice plus offered to come back to help with a few events that were after the two weeks. They wouldn’t let me tell anyone and finally I did anyway, because I shared an office with a girl I liked a lot and I didn’t want her to come to work one day and find me gone with no explanation, and because I supervised people and didn’t want them to be texting me one day to find out about their shift and to get a text back from my boss saying that I didn’t work there anymore. It was weird. I wasn’t sad to leave.

    1. Marthooh*

      Alison counted on everyone missing that, but — the sentence “I’m betting they’re weirdly controlling or secretive in other ways” just above a row of cat faces? That’s no coincidence!

  21. Half-Caf Latte*

    I work for the corporate office of a regional healthcare system. In the past year, about half of our locations have had CNO turnover, without any announcement, including the interim reporting structure. Everything has come to us via the gossip network. I don’t need to know why the old person left, but who to go to for what, yes!

    1. Kyrielle*

      A couple days after a second round of layoffs many years ago, I advised a client to talk to their account manager about something they wanted, as it was an enhancement request, not a bug. They asked me for the name and contact info – which made sense to me; in the first round of layoffs, their original AM had been let go. I looked it up in our system, and gave them the name and number. “No,” they said, “she was let go Tuesday.” (I’m not sure it was Tuesday. But you get the idea.)

      I told them I’d find out and get back to them, but seriously. No one had told us who was let go, and the system hadn’t yet been updated.

  22. Matilda Jefferies*

    My last boss was a slightly-less bonkers version of this. When I gave my notice, she asked me not to tell the rest of the team as she wanted to do it herself, and I agreed. Three days and one team meeting later, when she still hadn’t made her announcement, I just started telling people myself.

    “Wilhelmina doesn’t want me to tell anyone yet, so you may have to pretend you don’t know, but I wanted to let you know that X is my last day. She’ll probably transfer the rice sculpting project to you, so we’ll need to talk about that at some point. Remember, when she does tell you, act surprised!”

    It felt a bit ridiculous to have to do that, but on the other hand I wasn’t going to let her control my story, and I didn’t want my team members thinking that I was the one who was being so secretive. And of course, I wanted to transfer my work to them, rather than just having it dumped on them with no chance to get caught up.

  23. irene adler*

    How does any soon-to-be-ex employee keep quiet for those two weeks after they give notice? Speaking just for myself, my body language would be a dead giveaway. I wouldn’t be able to keep still or wipe the silly grin off of my face.

    1. Karen from Finance*

      You let it be a giveaway. At that point you don’t really care. They can ask you not to tell, they can’t really control how obvious you’re being unless it’s clear it’s intentional.

  24. OP*

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the helpful comments and validation that I’m not, in fact, insane for thinking this is weird. To answer what seems to be everyone’s main question: No, the people who leave in this fashion are not fired or laid off. These are valuable team members who were actively job searching because they’re trying to move on from this company, and who gave ample notice to management of their leave.

    I don’t want to give too much about our situation away, but in one case it was a coworker I worked very closely with years, and who wasn’t even allowed to tell me that he was leaving the next day, despite all of his tasks being shifted over to myself! The announcement came from our supervisor, who pulled me into his office to tell me alone! It was beyond odd.

    There are lots of other general “quirks” to our office, and yes, most of us tolerate them because we’re younger or inexperienced. Sigh.

    1. Observer*

      I’m curious how you know so much about the circumstances of people’s exits? It show that these attempts to control information don’t work all that well.

      That’s a lesson to take with you – when you are tempted to over-control the narrative, remember that you may not be able to.

      1. OP*

        The people who have left have all worked closely with me for a long amount of time, and we’d grown very friendly over the years. After they left, or in some cases, the day they were “permitted” to tell us of their final day, they confided in me how weird it was that they were made to sign something that they couldn’t tell anyone about their last weeks. They found it a ridiculous and odd practice, and wanted me to know the truth of why they were leaving without properly delegating tasks. I’ve kept in touch with all of them, and they all had new jobs lined up (they weren’t fired or laid off).

        The common thread of all the people who were “silenced” is that they all were counter-offered by our company with minimal pay increases in a last attempt to retain them. This was the justification that my boss used to not tell me about it–that he “wasn’t sure if he could get them to stay, so didn’t want to incite any panic by prematurely notifying of a two weeks.”

  25. Scribbles*

    When someone was fired at one of my previous jobs, they disappeared in the middle of the day on a Friday and didn’t come back. We asked the supervisor about it because were worried about them and needed to know when they’d be back because we needed x, y and z from them. Supervisor kept telling us coworker was fine and not to worry. They waited a week to pull everyone into a meeting to tell us the coworker no longer worked there. It was really weird that they waited so long instead of just telling us. They already seemed shady for other reasons, and this just made them seem even shadier.

      1. ENFP in Texas*

        If there were legal circumstances involved, the manager probably COULDN’T say anything without permission or approval from HR and/or Legal.

    1. Luisa*

      The tutoring center I worked at in grad school fired the other teacher who worked there and didn’t tell me for 3 weeks, but still referred families to talk to me (the lowest-ranking employee) about when she was returning/why the director was covering her students. As in, Director taught Fired Teacher’s students, their parents asked where Fired Teacher was, Director told them “Ask Luisa.” I was so confused and surprised and frankly panicked to get these questions that I made up a story about Fired Teacher taking a leave of absence because her grandmother had passed away. It was wild.

      Director was equally confused when I quit after a year and the lead teacher quit two months later, leaving him with zero staff and ultimately forcing the business to close.

  26. Anita Brayke*

    I’ve had this happen at one medical office I worked at. Very jarring, and lots of work always ended up not getting finished because…well…we didn’t know to change the person we normally sent work to. I think communication in workplaces is SO important…yet so often handled really poorly. Or maybe that’s just my state (Arizona).

  27. Aeon*

    Oh, this brings back bad memories. I used to work for a place like this and the bungled separations were only the tip of the very dysfunctional iceberg. Management wouldn’t tell us ANYTHING. We once had a manager start work on a Monday, quit on Tuesday, and no one was told for months that he wasn’t coming back-even the team that reported to him. It made for stress, anxiety, low morale and a depressing sense that our management was completely adversarial. A sense that proved to be correct when layoff time rolled around and we got the full picture of how in the dark management had kept us. So glad to not be there anymore.

  28. Persephone Mulberry*

    When I gave my two weeks notice a couple of jobs ago, they looped in the immediate 3-4 people who would be taking over my responsibilities but didn’t make a company-wide announcement (smallish company, high-visibility role) until the afternoon of my last day. I spent two weeks not anything to anyone myself because I kept waiting for my manager to do it and she just…didn’t. I did bring up in my exit interview that I thought it was poorly handled. Whether they did anything with that information, I don’t know.

    1. TootsNYC*

      I’ve never worked anywhere that a manager made the announcement that someone was leaving; they always waited for the person to spread the news themselves. That way the employee could control the narrative, and it didn’t come across as though the separation was the company’s idea.

  29. The Imperfect Hellebore*

    I’ve worked in places that have a similar attitude, and it’s never boded well. People leave workplaces all the time, for a variety of reasons, and when upper management acts ridiculously cagey about it, it just fuels gossip and speculation all the more. And usually with good reason, if managenent are that odd about it. Good grief, just treat people fairly, and let them leave politely and reasonably when they wish to!

  30. Allison*

    When I got fired from my first full-time office-type job, they told me not to tell anyone I was being let go, just go back to my desk, pack up (it was an open office, this was kind of a dead giveway), send coworkers and manager any documents and info they might need once I’m gone, and leave as soon as possible. I’d thought about the times I’d been called into a small conference room with the rest of the team, to be told in confidence that it was so-and-so’s last day, and they’d be gone by then, so I’ll bet they waited until I was out the door to tell my coworkers that I was no longer with the company.

    More recently, over the summer we got a vague, ominous invite to a meeting where we learned that our department’s VP, my boss, was no longer working there. I was mad that no one had given me a heads-up, I had to stay late to talk to someone and get more information (and assurance that my job was safe), and I never did get a straight answer as to WHY she’d been asked to leave. The whole thing was poorly managed.

    And the thing is, I get that telling people about departures can be tough, and can cause concern – it can also feel like a betrayal of that person’s trust if they quit or get fired under unflattering circumstances. However, not telling people can cause more concern, and fuel rumors and panic – why were they fired? What did they do wrong? Am I guilty of the same thing and I just don’t know it yet? Is there a budget issue? Is this the beginning of layoffs? Am I next?? If they were unhappy, is there something we need to know about? Are things about to get worse for us? Should we update our resumes??

    1. TootsNYC*

      I never did get a straight answer as to WHY she’d been asked to leave.

      You aren’t owed the why, especially not if she was asked to leave.

      There may be legal reasons why they can’t say–risk of defamation lawsuit–or they may just feel they’d rather not bad-mouth her.

  31. CMF*

    Nothing to add here, I’d just like to let you know, Allison, how much I liked your unrelated image for V-Day.

  32. 653-CXK*

    At ExJob, usually if they gathered us around in short notice, it often meant big news (usually promotions, a supervisor leaving, a reorganization, etc.) After they began the work from home program, they just sent an email.

    Due to the panicky nature of some of my former colleagues, management had to be very, very careful in how they tell employees about firings and reorgs because the second they heard “X is no longer working here” or “X’s new role will involve reporting to Wakeen” the “are we being laid off?” alarms sound.

    In one instance, I had transferred to another department before layoffs had happened, and my former department performed the Big Layoff the day after April Fools Day. I later learned I was in no danger of being laid off. In my own instance of being let go, I just met with my supervisor, manager and HR, collected my belongings quietly, and then my supervisor sent an email stating, “653-CXK is no longer with the company.”

  33. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    This is timely because we just sent out an email blast for something and I’m getting the typical OOO responses…then I’m getting ones with “No longer employed here” details. One literally just said “He doesn’t work here anymore”.

    I can only imagine how they handled these people’s last days. You can see some seem to be set up by the exiting employees and some of them are probably not the exiting employees needless to say. I mean I guess they could be just talking about themselves in the third person of course.

    Thankfully around my neck of the woods in all my jobs, everyone talks to each other and it’s laughable to think anyone would keep it quiet. Except for layoffs and some terminations that were in the works but even then, everyone gets to say goodbye and nobody is walked out, etc.

  34. Anita Brayke*

    P. S. Alison, are those 5 cats in the heart “frames” above all your cats? They’re adorable!!!

  35. Kathlynn (Canada)*

    So, I’m wondering how many of the issues the LW sees are due to the location she works at or the company policy. Might be worth talking to HR about, assuming the company has HR. I can see this as being some weird power play or some bad management of the people in charge at the site rather then company policy.

  36. Rollergirl09*

    I worked a job that had this super secret leaving policy too. It was so secret that a coworker and I quit on the same day and knew nothing of it until we showed up at the same new employer for our first day.

  37. AnonAnon*

    In my mind, this boils down to a basic problem with trust. If you hire someone, you should be willing to trust them to do the job and do it well. If you are so paranoid and afraid of your own employees that you can’t share even the most basic information, don’t be surprised when you have a toxic, hateful, dysfunctional workplace. That lack of trust is going to undermine everything else you try to accomplish. I can’t comprehend why anyone would want to work in such a place, or what is wrong with the people who create these systems.

    1. The Doctor*

      “Yeah, if you could stop asking why Filbert hasn’t been here in a few months, that’d be great. Mmmkay?”

  38. Rhoda*

    “Sometimes it takes her 2-5 minutes to walk outside the building and turn it off…”
    This must be some kind of after-market add on car alarm. Surely most car alarms can be switched off by just pressing that alarm button on your electronic door key?

  39. Rachel*

    Hey long time reader, first time poster. This is really weird and sounds similar to something I encountered recently with a consulting firm my company works with. One of their employees had been working really closely with me for a few months. Like meetings 4x a week, lots of email exchanges. Then one day we were in a status meeting with members of both firms and at the very end of the meeting he announced that that day was his last. He called me directly after to give me a formal goodbye and explained that he’d known for several weeks that he was leaving, but his supervisors asked him not to tell anyone. That seems like a really horrible way to do business! It certainly made me and my bosses feel a little uncomfortable about working with a company that doesn’t want to keep their clients abreast of important information about the people they work closely with. Never found out why they didn’t want to tell us.

  40. nora*

    I work for a small agency with some bad practices and, unsurprisingly, a high turnover rate. Last spring the agency’s second in command left the country for two weeks on vacation. On the day she was supposed to come back it was announced that she was no longer employed there. I still don’t know if she was fired or not. Another employee gave her notice but from then on was treated like she was a traitor to the organization. She served most of her notice period “working from home” but no staff were allowed to contact her for any reason. Two coworkers quit within 3 weeks of each other, both to be nearer to family members in need. One was given a party during her last staff meeting. The other was never announced. It’s incredibly frustrating. I am very likely going to get an offer soon and I’m curious to know how they’ll handle it when I give notice. I just don’t know why employers feel like this is good business practice.

  41. Mockingdragon*

    I feel like there’s a huuuuge difference between a company not telling employees WHY someone left, and not telling them THAT someone left. One is not their business, but the other totally is.

    When my last job fired me, they went so far as to tell the room I worked in that there was server maintenance at 5 on the dot and they should all leave a few minutes early (before I had the meeting that fired me). They didn’t spread that lie to the downstairs office, who were still there when I popped in to say goodbye on my way back to my desk. I texted several people that night to explain that I was gone, and one person helped me retrieve a few things I missed from my cube when I was packing it up. Other than that….I was told a few months later that the company never said a thing. They told a friend who supervised the downstairs department that it “wasn’t anyone’s business” that I didn’t work there anymore. Including the people who got my work shunted onto them and who asked me questions all the time? Yeah…totally toxic.

    And I thought for sure they’d use my firing as an example since I was let go for bringing up objections and fighting micromanagement.

  42. Sun Tzu*

    I work for a consulting company in Switzerland. The termination letters the company hands out mention that the employee is strictly forbidden from disclosing their firing to anybody (colleagues, clients, candidates etc.) and breaching that is a serious misconduct. I think this is a sign of a dysfunctional workplace.

      1. Sun Tzu*

        I suppose they get fired on the spot, canceling any notice period.
        In Switzerland, as in many other countries, there is a notice period from the time the employee gets his termination letter (or he hands in his resignation) and the moment he effectively ends working for the company. The longer he has been working for the company, the longer the notice period.

  43. b0rt*

    I used to work for a small ICT consulting company . I left after six months due to an extremely incompetent supervisor and management. I had to give 90 days notice before leaving, and since the very first day I gave notice I was ORDERED to dont’ speak anyone about my resigning. I had been always correct towards my collegues and was a tutor for two of them, so I decided to tell them since the beginning. Never regretted that.

  44. Tom*

    As IT person – i KNOW when people are being laid off sometimes before they know it.
    (Keeping silent, that`s hard – especially if that person is walking in my office with a question).
    But – while they don`t advertise that John Doe left – no one is blocking others talking about it – or is trying to keep it silent that John Doe actually left. (maybe the exact reason – but that`s all).

Comments are closed.