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Question: What are the things that I could do if my current employer does not accept my resignation, simply because he wants me to finish the job which I don't think is really my job?

Background: Before I decided to resign to this company we (me and my employer) had a good relationship. As time went by my job description as an associate software engineer becomes dimmer and dimmer to the point that even editing of documents, troubleshooting, fixing network issues becomes my duty also.

That is okay, I've managed to do those things for a while, but after a short time, my boss wants me to handle the implementation of ERP to this corporate company. This is the duty that I cannot accept because it cost more than a millions worth, and how can it be that I (associate software engineer) am expected to handle this thing alone? He even stated that 'if there are problems during implementation, it is only you that should be blamed for them'. I've also been unhappy at work, because I don't want this kind of job, and most of all I applied to this company with the intention of learning more regarding website development.

Due to those reasons I came up to the conclusion that I really need to leave this company, but as soon as I passed my resignation letter he suddenly becomes angry at me, and warns me that it is I that should handle the ERP. He will never allow me to leave this company without the ERP being implemented. In my resignation letter I indicated all the reasons why I want to leave the company in a gracious and very careful way, I also included my one-month notice of leave there. I would like to emphasize that I never signed any contract on this company, actually I am almost 8 months here, I have the ID that is the same on the regular employees , but unfortunately I didn't enjoy the benefits of being a regular employee (increase salary, leaves, signing of contract, etc.). The probationary period here should be only 6 months (Article. 281) .

So far here is the list of the things that I've done:

  1. Ask advice to the HR manager, this concluded in her being the one to talk to my boss regarding this matter.
  2. Ask the ex-employees who experienced the same thing before, and their answer is that this is the culture in this company. That's the reason why they left.

So far, this are all the information that I can give to you. Thanks!

Update as of September 18, 2014

So far most of the answers states that I need to consult a legal or something like that. And yes, I consult someone, and they really proved that I am in the right position. It is based on the code of labor of our DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment).

Now that I know that I am in the right position, what should I do? Also, I don't want any troubles. I just want to leave the company.

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    @Cary Bondac, If you do not have a contract. You do not owe them a dime. He has no authority or legal right to hold you without a contract is what I see. However you may want to consult a legal option before proceeding further. – watercooler Sep 17 '14 at 8:38
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    Your HR rep said to stay "for the sake of a good relationship." It sounds like if you stay, you'll complete the job poorly and have a bad relationship anyway and damage your reputation with anyone involved in the project. Better to leave now before you get your hands dirty and only hurt your already bad relationship with your boss. – David K Sep 17 '14 at 12:42
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    It seems to me like your boss is setting you up to take the fall for a project he knows won't succeed and needs a scapegoat to justify the failure. I'd suggest getting legal advice from someone local to make sure they can't still pin things on you even if you resign. – Lilienthal Sep 17 '14 at 15:22
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    A "graceful resignation" or "good relationship" with an employer is a mutual thing. If you're trying to be reasonable but this is not reciprocated by your manager then you've done what you can and you can move on with a clear conscience. – Rob Moir Sep 19 '14 at 9:07
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    If you are presented with a contract and you start working and accepting money, you've "signed it", whether or not you touch pen to paper (in Australia). I hope you learn from this experience and don't start work at your next job until you have received both a formal job offer with a written Position Description, a copy of the company's HR policies and a clear contract of Employment. Having these things is hugely beneficial for yourself as well as your employer, this is not a case of "sticking it to the man". If you don't like what those docs say, you can't work for that company, end of story. – David Meister Sep 19 '14 at 17:05
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+50

You've added the "Philippines" tag. While I don't know the specific laws of that country, I'm pretty sure indentured servitude is illegal there. You obviously have a toxic manager if he becomes angry when you mention resignation. Simply find another job and give the customary amount of notice (2 weeks here in the US). Don't let this person get to you, they are yelling because of their own issues, not yours. You've clearly got good reasons for leaving, so future employers shouldn't hold this against you.

EDIT:

To respond to the additional request for references, the document you pointed out says in article 285:

An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.

So one month is apparently the standard notice in the Philippines. There are other criteria by which you could provide less notice, but if you can hold out a month it would be the least contentious route.

  • The customary "2 week notice" is a voluntary gesture used too much by employees. The USA is an "at will employment" country, that works both ways. – aseq Sep 17 '14 at 19:39
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    @aseq - of course the "2 week notice" is a voluntary gesture (fits with the "No indentured Servitude" mindset), but I'm assuming this person will want to maximize his future opportunities and burn as few bridges as possible (will likely be burnt with the manager regardless, but HR, upper management, coworkers etc. will appreciate it). – Jared Sep 17 '14 at 20:07
  • Yeah I understand, just one of my pet peeves. :-) – aseq Sep 18 '14 at 2:19
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    @Jared - This is one lesson I've learned the hard way: Bad situations with management will not improve. You gain nothing by staying. There is no good way out. There is only the fast way out. – Wesley Long Sep 20 '14 at 15:16
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    This is a good answer, and with that added quote, make sure to get proof that the resignation letter was delivered! – David K Sep 22 '14 at 20:03
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You didn't specify your country, but you have stated that you signed no employee agreement and that your HR representative says that you don't have a legal obligation to stay. In this case the question seems to be whether you have a moral or ethical obligation to stay.

There is always an implied agreement when you work for a company. It goes something like this: The company will provide a particular type of work, and you will perform that work to the best of your ability. In this case, the company does not appear to be living up to its promises. You're doing work that you were not hired to do, and that isn't in your area of expertise. You're being set up to fail. The implied agreement has been breached.

In my mind you're perfectly within your rights to resign and seek other employment, and should not feel guilty in doing so. Don't let an incompetent and abusive supervisor bully you into staying. That's not a good deal for you (you'll be miserable), and it's also not a good deal for the company (you won't deliver good work). A reasonable boss would realize this, but unfortunately that's not the type that you have. Better to move on.

  • @CaryBondoc If your boss feels that strongly about his ERP project, he can hire someone else to do it. Or he can do it himself. As long as you give notice as specified by the labor laws of your country, your boss can watch your behind disappear as your head out the door. Get your references from somebody else, though. – Vietnhi Phuvan Sep 17 '14 at 10:38
  • @VietnhiPhuvan, yes. you are absolutely correct, he can hire someone who can do that job much better. by the way, according to this site it states that "at least one month prior to the effective date of his resignation.". I am correct for noticing them about one month resignation. – Cary Bondoc Sep 19 '14 at 1:24
  • @CaryBondoc: Yes, you acted fully correctly by giving your resignation notice a month before the date you wish to close that door behind you. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Sep 19 '14 at 12:53
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As everyone else has pretty much covered you are under no obligation to stay in a job when you have made the decision to leave, and provided you offer the minimum notice period as defined in your contract of employment, or in the event that you haven't technically entered into one (judging from your comments) and they can't evidence one then adhere to your local or national employment legislation.

However, you specifically asked

What are the things that I could do if my current employer does not accept my resignation?

It isn't clear whether you've actually tried to tender your resignation yet or just discuss it. Regardless, when you actually want to submit your notice ensure it is in writing and also that it is submitted to multiple people (to prevent any potential recriminations along the lines of 'I never received it' from your manager).

If I were in your position I'd submit it to your manager, their manager and the HR Manager you've already had contact with regarding this matter. It may be overkill but it's perhaps worth considering using registered or signed-for mail so you can evidence receipt or possibly attach it to an email and ensure you get a read receipt. It's perhaps the cynic in me that would want to cover my own back in being able to evidence that I submitted my resignation and offered the necessary notice period as defined by either a signed contract or law.

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As mentioned in the comments - a signed contract of employment with an employer would protect both parties into the agreement. In the absence of which you could not be bound if you choose to resign. You may want to consult a legal opinion on the subject before taking further actions.

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    I feel like there is some context missing here. "It is mandatory to have..." ...says who? (which country, company, etc...) – Reinstate Monica Sep 17 '14 at 10:54
  • It's obviously a very good idea to have a written contract in case there is disagreement, but in most places it won't be mandatory. In the case described, even with no written contract in place, he would still be an employee of the company. The fact that he goes there and works and they pay him will in many countries create a contract. – gnasher729 Sep 17 '14 at 11:17
  • Thanks for the comments. Have made appropriate changes to make it more generic. @gnasher729 How would paying the person will create a contract? Do you mean a verbal contract?. To my mind it would be a remuneration for his skill, but the person is still free to choose. – watercooler Sep 17 '14 at 12:35
  • From Wikipedia: "However, it is clear that people can accept through silence, firstly, by demonstrating through their conduct that they accept. " If the thread starter worked at the company, then the fact that the company didn't throw him out alone would be accepting an employment contract. Paying him makes this even stronger. – gnasher729 Sep 17 '14 at 20:34
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I am from the USA, so I might not completely understand. It is very sad that you feel overwhelmed and must do additional work beyond your skills. In some cases a boss knows that a worker has talent and "cracks the whip" simply to make them succeed. But if the boss is not a fair person and you are sure that you cannot do this job well then consider simply not coming to work any more and going to a different company.

That said, there are many things to think about. Do you have to pay a penalty for leaving without notice? Are other jobs available? Are there issues of government unemployment benefits to work out? What happens when you tell your next employer what happened?

A very difficult choice. Good luck.

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