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The Courts Government

Can You Be Sued for Quitting? 1057

Posted by Cliff
from the you-can-be-sued-for-anything dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "I work at a large hosting company in Texas, and recently decided to go work for a smaller competitor. I had a great relationship with my employer and wanted to leave on good terms, and I hadn't signed any non-compete or employment agreements . I felt my old company had just gotten too large and I didn't like working there anymore, so I gave them two weeks notice in writing. They were really upset when I insisted on leaving and one week into my last two weeks the V.P. of Sales told me the company was suing me for leaving, and they were also suing my new employer for hiring me. I was shocked, and they then escorted me out of the building. Has anybody ever heard of this happening? Do they have any legal basis for suing me?" It shouldn't have to be said that seeking professional legal representation, in such a situation, is the first thing one should do.
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Can You Be Sued for Quitting?

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  • Re:ianal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:01AM (#17856804)
    There are no rules about giving them sufficient notice, that is bunk. I dont give notice when I quit because if I was fired my employer wouldnt give me two weeks notice that I was out of a job in two weeks. Its really not conducive to good office policy to give two weeks notice because it almost always leads to you being where youre not wanted for those two weeks. They dont trust you during those two weeks and youre just asking for a hard time. Just stop showing up, that's how to quit. Ive done this several times and still get good references.
  • Re:ianal (Score:5, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:19AM (#17856886)

    ...Just stop showing up, that's how to quit. Ive done this several times...
    -- Anonymous Coward
    Where's my "funny" mod points when I need them?
  • by tclark (140640) on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:47AM (#17857054) Homepage

    Perhaps your former employer might be better advised to spend the money and effort having a consultant come in
    You mean, perhaps they should bring in the Bobs [wikipedia.org]?
  • Shit List (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (lacitpx)> on Friday February 02, 2007 @07:55AM (#17857090) Homepage
    You need to keep a shit list. I've been with one company for about 12 years now. For the last 5, I've kept an offline diary about my work there. Every time I think I was wronged, I write about it while it's still fresh in my mind. Every time I do something really good, I write in another diary.

    For your own sake, keep these private. Fireproof box with a combo or a key you *always* keep with you is okay.

    When something goes bad for you, decide how you want to treat it. Do you want to pull out something from the "good book" or from the "bad book".

    If you get threatened, you can easily turn the log over to a lawyer for a quick browse. Something as simple of 15~20 minutes of overtime (why does the boss call at 4:58PM for a chat about an e-mail I sent at 9AM) every week over a few years can leave a company with massive fines. Every racist/sexist joke you hear is handy too.

    Even if nothing ever goes wrong, maybe one of those jackasses will run for office one day. Then, you can call them up and ask them if they remember the time they did Stacy while she was passed out after the office party. Maybe get a nice retirement bonus out of it. Or you could just end up dead like one former President's old buddies. Hmm...
  • by LizardKing (5245) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:11AM (#17857178)
    Monday 29th:

    Bob from accounts looked at me funny. I'm sure he knows my secret.

    Tuesday 30th:

    I hear the directors laughing in the boardroom. They know too.

    Wednesday 31st:

    Arrived at work to find a crow standing on the window ledge outside my office window. I think this is a sign.

    Thursday 1st:

    The assault rifle, handgun and stun grenades are safely stored behind that old Vax in the machine room.

    Friday 2nd:

    Goodbye cruel world.
  • Re:ianal (Score:3, Funny)

    by Propaganda13 (312548) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:15AM (#17857194)
    IANAL, so get one.

    Employment laws can vary state to state.

    This has to be the worst Ask Slashdot ever.

    JUDGE: How does the defendant plead?
    AC: A couple of guys from Slashdot said they don't have a case, so why do I have to plead?
    JUDGE stares in disbelief while shaking his head and mumbling "It's going to be one of those days"
  • Re:ianal (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:23AM (#17857268) Journal
    "Frist Ojbection, yer honner!"
  • Re:ianal (Score:2, Funny)

    by aborchers (471342) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:35AM (#17857688) Homepage Journal
    AC's Work History:

    Wendy's
    Taco Bell
    KFC
    McDonalds

  • by Harlockjds (463986) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:50AM (#17857818)
    >I guess he's in the USA

    I didn't have to guess. Texas is a dead giveaway...
  • Re:ianal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:58AM (#17857892)

    I had that discussion with one of my managers about people giving notice, and I asked him how much notice I would get from him if I were to be fired or laid off. He went into a long explanation of how telling an employee he's getting canned causes all sorts of security problems and low productivity etc etc, to which I pointed out I would give him as much notice as I thought he would give me. I don't think he liked that, but he understood where I was coming from. Companies expect generosity and loyalty from their employees, but have absolutely no intention of being generous or loyal to their employees. Generous and loyal employees increase company proffit. Generous and loyal companies lower company proffit. That can only lead to this sort of behavior.

    A decent company will solve that dilemma by giving you a decent severance package. This is especially true if you're simply laid off as opposed to being fired for Xeroxing your ass.

  • Re:ianal (Score:3, Funny)

    by budgenator (254554) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:26AM (#17858230) Journal
    My gut feeling are:
    these guys really should have shown him the door when he first gave notice, for security reason,
    then paid him for two weeks to avoid complicating the un-employement insurance,
    Done it all nicely and thrown in a pleasant exit interview with coffee and donuts for good measure.

    The Vice-President of Sales throwing him out the door, that in itself sounds hockey; I'd probably said something like "Sir, meaning no disrespect, but do you actually have the authority to fire people and remove them from the premises? That's pretty specialised and usually coordinated through HR, Legal and Security." I once had a boss that frequently fired me, sometimes several times a day. At first it bothered me, but after a while it got so he'd get pissed, come in and fire me and I'd get stand there with my arms crossed in front of my chest and look at him until he'd either get out of my face and let me work or actually ask for the keys to the building back.
  • Re:ianal (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:27AM (#17858240) Homepage
    BTW, the above is not intended to be legal advice.

    Goddamn lawyers.
  • Re:ianal (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bob-taro (996889) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:28AM (#17858254)

    Just stop showing up, that's how to quit.
    OTOH, if you gave notice then you wouldn't have to post as AC.
  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:33AM (#17858342)
    How about suing your old company for hiring you in the first place?! :-)
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:33AM (#17858350) Homepage Journal

    I hope this makes people think twice before hosting with The Planet or one of their resellers or one of their resellers or one of their resellers or one of their resellers........
    And that, right there is the crux of this article. Have you ever noticed that every other time there's an Ask Slashdot that complains about an employer or other professional relationship, the offending party isn't named?

    Not only does the article contain the name of the employer, but the submitter linked to them, along with a couple Wikipedia articles describing documents the poster didn't sign. It's like he wasn't looking for advice, and just wanted to announce to a million geeks that Company X is bad.

    This reads like a smear campaign. I'm surprised the editors didn't edit out the employer name, at least. If it's legit, then there's going to be bad blood and possibly legal repercussions.
  • Re:ianal (Score:2, Funny)

    by runwolf (461371) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:45AM (#17858496)
    ... opposed to being fired for Xeroxing your ass
    and breaking the copier glass top doing so, leaving blood trail all the way back to your desk.

    That's got to be a good reason no !!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:49AM (#17858544)
    I picked up the phone and dialed their number. I heard a constant tone for an awful long time, followed by a series of 3 beeps escalating in pitch. Of course, maybe the fact that in "dialing their number" I didn't actually hit any buttons had something to do with it. "My union" not having a number, as it does not exist, could be playing a factor here. If I did have one, they'd likely tell me that I'm getting paid the same as the schmuck down hall who plays solitaire all day, and that I'm going to have to stand outside in the freezing cold holding a sign for the next few months getting paid minimum wage for a while, or that I'm going to have to give them a cut of everything I earn there if I wanted to continue working there. Sounds kind of like an extortion racket if you ask me, but not having a union, I hung up the phone and got a lawyer. He advised me that he'll work pro-bono on the lawsuit I intend to file, and while I cannot comment on the details of the suit, I'll tell you that the Greek islands they have for sale are sounding like a good homeowners investment.
  • Re:ianal (Score:3, Funny)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:11AM (#17858874) Journal
    And the first witness is an Anonymous Coward ...

    But the good thing is that if you don't like the outcome, you just moderate it down until nobody sees it any more.
  • by digitig (1056110) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:13AM (#17858894)
    Is it true that Alaska is considering splitting into two states, purely to relegate Texas to the third biggest State from its present position of second?
  • by technomom (444378) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:24AM (#17859090)
    Makes me wonder how they fire the security guards.

  • by Elvis Parsley (939954) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:33AM (#17859226)
    One fine morning you come in to work to find an accountant and a box to put all your things into...
  • by JazzLad (935151) on Friday February 02, 2007 @12:32PM (#17860238) Homepage
    Looks like Skreems is lucky that -1 Wrong mod doesn't exist :)
  • by Hollins (83264) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:26PM (#17861280) Homepage
    Slashdot denizens seldom read the actual article behind a story to check for consistency, and you want someone to actually venture out to stand in line at a courthouse?
  • by StressGuy (472374) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:40PM (#17861516)
    I mean, I wouldn't recommend giving someone "the finger"....and it does take several weeks for that Sharpie smiley-face you drew on your ass to finally wear off.

    not that I speak from personal experience or anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:58PM (#17861816)
    I forgot to mention the alternate method, also successful on one occasion:

    1) Take a two-week vacation from old job.
    2) Go to work for new job on 1st day of vacation.
    3) Call old job on 2nd Monday. Tell them "I like it here so much I've decided to stay."
    4) Profit.

    Also works quite well. If they think you're far far away they won't bother to look for you. Great stories will spread among the left-behinds. You'll become another D.B. Cooper.
  • slavery (Score:2, Funny)

    by chiefloko (450100) on Friday February 02, 2007 @03:16PM (#17863150)
    I wouldn't worry too much.

    Slavery was abolished in 1865.

    Also there is no judge in the world, that is going to say "There is no way are allowed to provide for your family."

    my $.02
    -lnr
  • by pilotfactory (1024667) on Friday February 02, 2007 @03:31PM (#17863404)
    Friday 2nd: They took my red Swingline stapler. I'll set the building on fire.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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