I have resigned, but I didn't have a chance to take a breathe before my boss told everyone that I'm leaving. My boss did not ask for my permission to do so.

I just wish I could've had the option to tell them myself. It really doesn't seem fair. My notice period is three months and I also believe it's too soon for them to know.

Is he allowed to tell all my coworkers that I have resigned?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 15:11
  • Out of curiosity, just when did you plan on letting them know? And what are your reasons for not letting them know sooner?
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:26

5 Answers 5


Your boss is responsible for making decisions that benefit the company, not ones that benefit you personally.

Your boss doesn't need your permission. You are leaving the company, your boss informs staff so they can prepare.

It's not your decision at all. I don't know what else to say. It's pretty common for a boss to let managers know immediately and get things prepared. If you wanted to tell colleagues yourself, then in future situations you could ask the boss a few days to let them know yourself. - Not many bosses would object to this, but they certainly aren't obligated to.

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    What else to say would be: It would have been polite for the boss to discuss how to communicate this with colleagues. (In addition to what you already said)
    – Bernhard
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 16:45
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    Thank you! I understand now and you are right! Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 16:50
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    In some businesses it is even "worse" - you resign, you immediately are not allowed back to your desk but escorted by security out of the building. For safety reasons.
    – TomTom
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 9:19

Is my boss allowed to tell my coworkers that I have resigned, before I even got a chance to tell them?

Yes. You don't own the news of your resignation.

It really doesn't seem fair

Maybe not.

If you had asked them not to share the information until you personally told your coworkers yourself, they may or may not have agreed to do so.

What happened might feel awkward, but that feeling will go away quickly.

Either way, allowed and fair are two different things. Next time, you'll know better what to expect and can plan accordingly.


The fact that you're leaving could very well be relevant. idk what you do for a living but let's say you're a software developer.

If you're leaving in three months then you're not the best person to assign a six month project to. It might be prudent for your manager to retask you with writing documentation for the work that you've done and fixing bugs in features you've worked on instead of working on new stuff.

If it's not possible to discretely retask you, doing so without providing an explanation could make speculation run rampant among your teammates ("are they preparing to fire him??"), so it might be best to nip that potential speculation in the bud.

Plus, by them telling people instead of you, that kinda enables them to control the narrative. Like maybe, in theory, you could spin it so that you're a victim or something. And who knows - maybe that's happened before and their reaction is being influenced by their past experiences.

This may be somewhat country dependent, as well. In most of the United States employment is at will. In the United States if you give three months notice (which is, itself, a bit unusual) and your employer then does something you don't like you could just up and leave. Rather then risk upsetting an employee who's half out the door, already, in the US, it might be more prudent to take an employees desires more into consideration then it would be in other countries.

  • Thank you! I understand now! Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 16:51

In the Netherlands I've had the impression that it is considered polite for managers to give staff at least a chance to break the news themselves. It's probably culture-dependent, but given your long notice period, maybe you are in Europe too?

As a (possibly extreme) example, there was a case where a coworker had not told colleagues about his leaving even after almost half his notice period. The manager accidentally revealed it (yes it was a real accident), and afterwards apologized for that.

But to answer the literal question, whether it's legal might depend on your location, but I'm not aware of any laws that make it illegal.

I think there's nothing you can do now. Perhaps next time it would be wise to tell your boss that you would like a chance to tell colleagues yourself.

I don't think you can force this though. And don't expect to be able to keep it secret for a long time - part of the reason for notice periods is so you and others can prepare for your departure, which they can only do if they know about it.


Is my boss allowed to tell my coworkers that I have resigned,before I even got a chance to tell them?! It really doesn't seem fair

Yes they can do it, even if it doesn't seem fair. Next time you want to resign and want your coworkers to hear it from you first, you tell them before you tell your boss. Alternatively, you can ask your boss to allow you to tell your coworkers first but your boss is under no obligation to comply.

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    "you tell them before you tell your boss" - This can seem tempting when you're close to your colleagues however, I strongly recommend against it even if you've made good friends with them. - It wont go down well if your boss hears it from someone else first and you don't want to burn bridges. What if you change your mind, and your boss overhears your colleagues talking about it etc...
    – flexi
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:07
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    That sounds like a terrible idea. What if the rumour mill reaches the boss before you manage to schedule a meeting? Or what if the boss comes up with a counter offer that's good enough that you'd actually accept?
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:28
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    @Llewellyn I can't speak for OP but I would never resign in the hopes of receiving a counter offer. If I am resigning it is because I have already accepted an offer for a better overall situation. There is no such thing as a counter offer when resigning, anything that the company can offer you they should have already done so prior to your resignation.
    – sf02
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:37
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    @sf02 I know this is a contentious topic, but I don't know OP's reasons for resigning, and sometimes accepting a counter offer can be beneficial. (I've never done it, either, but in other circumstances, I might have done.)
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:39

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