Business Practices In Oppostion To My Values

Question:

Two weeks ago, I began a new job in my chosen field of purchasing. However, the results of a recent supplier audit conducted by our company have revealed some very appalling conditions in one of its overseas plants. I have further found out that this is not anything new. I cannot, in good conscience, place orders with this supplier, and I am not in a position of determining which suppliers are selected. This isn’t even something I would have thought to ask about during the interview process. I must give my resignation, and I have no qualms about writing a courteous, yet firm, letter of resignation, but I am perplexed about how long a time frame I should give for my notice? Thank you.

Signed,

Perplexed


Answer:

Dear Perplexed:

You state that this is your “chosen field” so we assume you have worked for some time in purchasing. The length of time on this job, two weeks is very brief. The frustration you experience is significant and dealing with these feelings of anguish, betrayal, etc may need to be addressed through counseling.

Normally, personnel policies are given to new staff at orientation and these likely spell out the companies expected notice of resignation. It is normal for a company to have the new employee sign a form stating they have read and will abide by the companies personnel policies. If this is the case, then comporting with these written standards are the first place to begin in answering your question. It is a given in personnel management that a company would not want someone working for them who doesn’t wish to be employed by them.

You letter does not indicate that the company provided any lengthy orientation or training. If they did, they will have a larger investment in your work and this could be a consideration.

If your decision is based on “conscience”, then accommodating the policies should be considered. Often if an employee states his/her desire to terminate in (two weeks is normal and thirty days in executive positions) but states “in ___days or sooner if possible”, the HR department and the supervisor will authorize termination sooner if not immediately. If, however, there are practices, which are possibly illegal, then you may wish to consult an attorney specializing in human resource law. A personal consideration –the longer you stay in the position the more challenging explaining it in your resume or future applications. Several weeks can be covered in relocation, family issues etc. With longer stays, you may have to include this experience in your employment history.

This is a difficult decision having personal, professional, and economic consequences for you. Again seeing a counselor is advised for working through this and considering an attorney if you feel you have been mislead by the company in the hiring process. We hope the best for you and your continued work in your chosen field!!

EB White MSW, Guest Respondents