I'm leaving my current job, and they want me to sign a form confirming I am leaving of my own volition. I've never been asked to do this before.

Background: I work at a franchised branch of an international company (our branch is located in Massachusetts). Last week I tendered my two-weeks resignation notice to the General Manager -- I will be returning to a previous employer who is offering an elevated position. The GM was dismayed but understanding. For what it's worth, the place I'm currently at is a very toxic workplace environment; while this absolutely played a role in my decision to leave, I didn't explicitly mention it in my notice, as I didn't want to complicate matters with what I imagine could be construed as gossip.

Today, as my direct supervisor was leaving, he handed me a form titled "Voluntary Termination Report". The form was pre-filled with my name, department, and effective date of resignation, as well as "Reason" (checked as "other job"); there was a space below for optional comments. He asked me to sign the form and return it to the General Manager.

I've left my share of positions in the past, and I've never been presented with anything like this. Why would they want something like this, and should I sign it?

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    "Termination" has a specifc meaning. You are not part of a "termination". Don't sign it. – Fattie Apr 6 at 15:27
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    OP, I was just wondering, do you have a management role at the location or a work role? I wonder if they try this with everyone? – Fattie Apr 6 at 15:27
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    I can imagine them in court because something bad has happened with another employee and they deny they had a toxic workplace and pull out 'documentary evidence' to prove it – Dave Gremlin Apr 6 at 20:10
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    "Termination" has a specifc meaning. You are not part of a "termination". Absolutely do not sign it. If some fool tried to get me to sign such a thing, we'd sue them. – Fattie Apr 7 at 0:00

Just as a general rule:

Never sign anything unless there is some sort of benefit for you.

Simply decline to sign anything. You are not obliged to tell them why you are leaving the company for instance.

Many organisations will have exit interviews. It looks like in lieu of an exit interview, your employer wants you to fill out a form. It's probably a requirement from the franchisor, and could also be used, for instance, if something comes up in court where you say you were pushed out.

Make sure the notice you gave complies with applicable law.

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    In my state I don't know of any laws concerning resignation notices (I just gave the common two-weeks-ahead thanks-for-everything memo, which seems like standard practice). Should I ask them why they want this form, or do you think that would only complicate matters? I'm leaving on what I would call good terms with this company, with an open verbal offer to return after my next job (which is seasonal) finishes. – Matt Apr 6 at 0:49
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    If you wish to return to the company, that would count as a "benefit for you", because you don't want to be marked as a trouble-maker. – Gregory Currie Apr 6 at 0:51
  • You said it yourself. The benefit is a non-combative transition that doesn't burn bridges. – user85135 Apr 6 at 3:18
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    @Matt In my limited experience, you won't get a direct answer why they want you to sign this, because if the concern they have which is causing them to ask you to sign this is justified, the direct answer would explain exactly why you don't want to sign it. – Ed Grimm Apr 6 at 5:29
  • @Matt , ask them nothing. Just do not sign it. It contains the word "termination" which has nothing to do with your situation. If they ask you again just ghost them. – Fattie Apr 6 at 23:58

Educated guess, this is a way to try and protect themselves from wrongful termination lawsuits.

Whether or not you should sign really depends on the particulars of the form, but from what you've said, nothing dangerous to you jumps out at me.

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    It also protects them from unemployment claims. – user85135 Apr 6 at 3:18
  • "nothing dangerous to you jumps out at me". Unfortunately the second word of the three-word title is a galaxy-sized red flag. – Fattie Apr 6 at 23:59
  • Very possible, but without more than just the title of the form I won't jump to that conclusion. – Ian Jacobs Apr 7 at 1:03
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    If the opening of the form states "I {Employee} have chosen to terminate my employment with {Company} of my own volition, effective {date}." It puts things in a very different perspective. – Ian Jacobs Apr 7 at 1:05

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