In a recent California Court of Appeal decision, the Court was asked to address the issue of whether an employee’s resignation of an at-will employment can be rescinded by the employee on the basis that the employee was suffering from an adverse reaction to medication at the time the resignation was tendered. As held by the Court in Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1150, once the resignation is tendered and then accepted by the employer, the resignation is final and cannot be rescinded by the employee. The Court in Featherstone noted that employment relationships are contractual in nature and once an offered resignation has been accepted by the employer it is final and binding on the employee.
In Featherstone, the Court further held that the impaired mental condition of the employee, which allegedly resulted from an adverse reaction to medication, did not alter the finality of the resignation. According to the Court, employers do not have a general duty to investigate the circumstances surrounding an at-will employee’s voluntary resignation. Consequently, the holding in Featherstone can be relied upon by employers to rely upon the finality of an employee’s resignation without fear of having any liability should the employee later try to rescind the resignation.
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