Last week I received a substantial offer from another company and by the time the offer arrived my boss (direct line manager) had already left for the day. So I called her up to explain my situation and discuss my departure (last day, transfer of duties etc.), or simply just book a time to talk things over.

To my dismay, she was very indifferent to me on the call, even cut me off bluntly when I attempted to explain my decision/motivation to accept the offer and move on, and said she'd need to work out my last day with the BU Director.

Honestly I was a bit shocked by this, as I really wanted my departure to be amicable and decent. The reason I called her immediately was to see if we could catch up so and see if I could help her better present my attrition to the upper management, just so to relief her of any trouble/pressure as a result of my departure.

Getting off the call I emailed her my resignation letter immediately and CC'd the BU director, as I thought since she needed to work out my last day with the director it's probably best to let the director know first hand as well.

To my surprise the director was quite eager to find out about my motivation to leave, and offered to have a chat privately. During the chat with the director I was able to gain written approval from the director on when my last day would be. However the stance my direct line manager took was quite alarming to me, as I ultimately need her approval for my offboarding to be processed...

Now almost a week's past and I was told that due to the high volume of HR queries at the moment, the response time for offboarding requests could be long.

So what should I do if my boss simply delays, w/o proper reason, to approve my resignation just to hold off my offboarding in an attempt to thwart/sabotage my onboard to the other company? Because I will need the formal release/termination papers from my current employer for onboarding to the other job I've accepted. I had documented everything much as I can to prove that I've given enough notice in adherence to company policy and local employment regulations. But what if she just plays nasty and keep me hostage?

  • 1
    @user1611132 Is that US-specific? Why does the new company not simply trust you about your resignation date? Anyway, is there something written in your contract setting the time frame to which the company has to adhere in giving their release certificate? If it is urgent, it may be useful to set your current company a time limit. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 5:45
  • 4
    You don't ask them if you can resign, you notify them. If they refuse to provide documents they're legally required to provide at the conclusion of your employment, they're breaking the law and your options are basically to leave anyway (and maybe consult a lawyer if they don't give you the documents eventually) or stay longer. It all depends how important those documents and leaving exactly when you said are to you. If I were you I'd go and speak to the director again, since they're high up and seem to be more receptive here. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 5:58
  • I found a reference to "release certificate" in the book "Employment Law in China" (Christopher Hunter,Louisa Lam,Ketong Lin). It seems to be a certificate an employer needs to hand a departing employee, mandated by the "Labour Contract Law" in the PRC. @user1611132: Is that what you are referring to?
    – sleske
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 8:31
  • 2
    @sleske, It could be China, but it could be India too, or Bangladesh. They also have a similar document. Wherever it is, the OP needs to tell us where. Two of the answers are completely wrong already because they're assuming that this is happening in the US or in the West. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 9:08

3 Answers 3


Given that you documented your adequate notice period and resignation process I would not worry too much if this happened. It was a wise thing to have a paper trail to back you up.

If this really came to happen the facts and evidence surely are on your side; I would proceed without hesitation with any interesting offers I receive regardless they are taking too long to process the resignation. You did as agreed in contract and gave the specified notice, and that is what matters.

If those offers require you to show you were properly dismissed from your last job, as some offers do, then you can provide your evidence and show that you were dismissed by the director but your manager is delayed.

Also, I doubt that your manager will even attempt something like this. Not only because "holding you hostage" as you describe is clearly illegal in this situation, but also because there is a limited quantity of things she can do to delay things. Eventually her intentions would be obvious.

  • 1
    "Given that you documented your adequate notice period and resignation process I would not worry too much if this happened" Impossible to say: that resignation may not be official. Over here for instance there are very strict rules governing how you formally resign. An employer can refuse to accept a resignation that you try to hand over in person at which point you need to send it to them via registered mail. We can't know for sure whether OP officially resigned until he provides additional information.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 9:11
  • @Lilienthal, out of curiosity, "over here" is where ?
    – NegativeJo
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 13:15
  • @NegativeJo his company I assume?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 13:21
  • I was thinking of which country Lilienthal is referring to ... I'm confused :)
    – NegativeJo
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 13:53
  • 1
    @NegativeJo anyways companies are subject to country laws so it could be both I guess.... I gave this answer as the OP suggested by the way he wrote the post that his resignation process was done correctly. Naturally if the OP missed something in the process then it should be corrected immediately.
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 16:04

From your question, it seems as though you called your boss after she left for the day and dumped the news that you're leaving on her and expected her to be able to have a discussion with you there and then regarding your leaving process.

It's pretty understandable to me why she's feeling a bit angry about this - you threw a curve-ball at her during her personal time.

Your director was probably ok about this because he's used to working after hours, or he's that kind of guy who cares about his employees and is happy to talk after hours.

Your line manager seems to have a different personality, she didn't appreciate being called after work, and I guess didn't really appreciate you emailing your resignation and copying in the director immediately afterwards.

That being said, we need to move forwards. You've entered a discussion with the director regarding your leaving process and your line manager should really be in alignment with that. If that's not the case, mention this to the director and see if you can request some kind of resolution to this.


As you say you've got a letter detailing your leaving date from your director - that should be enough detail to pass on to your next employer to confirm a start date. So I would ensure that you have a paper trail of that document being received by your line manager & also pass that on to your new employer - a formal paper trail will forestall any silliness.

Ringing your line manager on her way home to say you are quitting, well its akin to dumping someone over the phone after they've had a hard day & then expecting them to tell you its all OK! If she had no inkling of your decision to leave then I'm pleased that it didn't affect her driving too much.

Good luck with your new challenge.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .