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Letting People Go Securely


Letting People Go Securely

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RBarryYoung
RBarryYoung
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doohickeyjones (3/16/2009)
At my current job, two weeks wouldn't even be enough notice, really. Likely, I will give them more along the lines of 2 months notice, to give them time to replace me and let me validate\train the new person.

This, however, goes the other way: This is not your problem it is theirs. Replacing you is also not your problem, but theirs.

And unless you have some contract or agreement with them that says otherwise, (or your laws require it), IMHO you are only ethically required to give as much notice for leaving as their policy requires them to give you for layoffs or other involuntary termination (including any guaranteed severance pay). Fair's fair, no matter who's wearing the boots.

-- RBarryYoung, (302)375-0451 blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung
Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
"Performance is our middle name."
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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I'm a little torn on some of this stuff. Employers over the last two decades have not respected personal time from me in most cases. They have a definition of personal time being when I'm not needed/wanted.

I've written about lots of things at work, even used scripts in articles that I built at work. Or was it used scripts at work that I built in articles?

The line blurs. I'd argue that some of the contacts I make at work are not completely work related. They're personal as well. If I take those contacts, without depriving my former company of them, am I stealing? If I don't use them for work issues? If I take scripts that I might reuse at a new job, am I stealing? When is it work-for-hire, when is it my work, when is it something that is so open that I can use it freely elsewhere?

I think having code, emails, contacts, etc. at home is not necessarily theft. If you use it to somehow harm the company, compete with them, then it probably is. If it's reference material, or used for non-commercial/competing purposes, or used in another non-competitive situation, I'm not sure it is.

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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RBarryYoung
RBarryYoung
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Steve Jones - Editor (3/16/2009)
I think having code, emails, contacts, etc. at home is not necessarily theft. If you use it to somehow harm the company, compete with them, then it probably is. If it's reference material, or used for non-commercial/competing purposes, or used in another non-competitive situation, I'm not sure it is.

It is OK, if they understand what you are doing and agree to it. And either way, it is still their property and upon separation you are required to return it to them or (sometimes) destroy it, unless they agree that you may do otherwise.

This is the same as it would be the other way around: they also are required to return any property of yours that they may have. So if they allowed you to bring in a personal chair for the office, then they also must return it.

-- RBarryYoung, (302)375-0451 blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung
Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
"Performance is our middle name."
Blair McKeever
Blair McKeever
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I'm interested that most of you are talking about two weeks notice when leaving a job.. Here in New Zealand the standard for IT (in my experience) is four weeks but my previous employer has been setting the notice for new IT staff as two months (calendar months, not eight weeks!!). I left there in September last year after handing in my notice in June!! Their justification (to me when I questioned it in my contract) was it allowed them time to recruit your replacement, have them work out their 1 month notice then have a couple of weeks hand-over... Can't say there is a lot of motivation left after 2 months...
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Two weeks is US standard. I actually have a contract specifying more.

Did your previous employer set their own policy? Is that legal in NZ?

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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Blair McKeever
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As far as I am aware (and this is just in my experience) so long as both parties agree you can set whatever notice period you want.. Of course I only agreed because they said "Agree to two months notice or don't take the promotion to DBA..." In the end it actually worked out well for me as I left to move cities so needed all the time I could get to sell the house, pack, organise movers etc....
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This issue is so focussed on one side, the leaving employee, that we seem to forget the complete equation. The single most important factor on whether employees will play nice during this end game is how the company treated that employee before, during, and after termination. If people are being escorted out (that's the equivalent of convicting someone before a trail), then the companies are asking leaving employees to work hard to figure out the optimum timing. No matter how careful the company, it's the employee who has the ultimate upper hand: timing. I can also see just due to one or two employees, HR overreacts by implementing draconian procedures. Show some respect, decency, and trust. Everyone will get back tons in return.

Have a points system for rewarding good employees during the 2-week period. It's finding creative solutions is where HR people fail miserably.
Steve Jones
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Nicely put. I think HR does fail many times because they think that the same rules need to be applied the same way to all people.

Same rules, but flex them to fit the individual.

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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Ian Massi
Ian Massi
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Wow this editorial brings back some memories. I remember first reading it at my previous job and thinking about how we had some clients shutting down business units and whether my job was secure. 2 weeks later, 3 of us were laid off. I had only been there 9 months so the bit of severance pay wasn't much but I had the new job before I would have been eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

The job I left to go there I gave my 2 weeks notice and worked them without any fanfare. It was a company with a lot of turnover so I guess there wasn't a concern about not letting the person work the notice period.

Where I am now they let you work the notice period. In fact, depending on the circumstance, they may also try to get you to stay. We've also had a guy leave and come back this year, so re-hires are permitted. I asked my boss to make it a condition of that guy's contract that he's not allowed to use cursors Hehe
tabinsc
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Years ago at my previous job, people were leaving left and right. I'm pretty sure every person gave a notice, and only a few were allowed to work it. They let me work my notice, I think mainly because I was working on the department's number one priority project. I haven't seen enough turnover at my current job to say what the usual procedure is.

Tony
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Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
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