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Ask HR: How Can I Rescind My Resignation?

​SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is answering HR questions as part of a series for USA Today. 

Do you have an HR or work-related question you'd like him to answer? Submit it here.


I recently accepted a tentative job offer that fell through after I gave a four-week notice. I am considering rescinding my resignation. Does my employer have to allow me to rescind a resignation? –Lily

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.: I am sorry the new position did not materialize for you. Employment is "at-will," meaning both employees and employers can continue or end the employment relationship at any time, barring overriding employment agreements or other considerations. While it's your employer's decision, you can still influence their thinking and improve your chances of staying.

Should you rescind your resignation, your employer may want to discuss terms for retaining you, so familiarize yourself with their resignation policies. Assuming a policy prescribing specific action isn't in place, employers are free to accept or deny a request to rescind after considering the circumstances surrounding the resignation.

Employers may see a benefit in retaining a valued employee who resigned under favorable circumstances. Giving four weeks' notice likely helps your case, as you've given your employer ample time to identify a replacement. However, your employer may lean toward upholding the resignation if you are deemed an average or subpar performer. Another determining factor is how far along they are in the replacement process.

Your employer may also examine your reasons for resigning. If those factors still carry weight, they may doubt that you will stay in the long term. If you plan to move on eventually, it may be worth asking about temporary or contract employment. It would provide interim job security and give you time to prepare for your next steps. Your employer may like this because it gives them more time to implement a succession plan.

I encourage you to be flexible, open and candid with your employer to find the best option for you and them. I wish you luck as you navigate this process.


I am a sophomore in college and a few years away from career work. I worry about incurring debt from sizable student loans. Are tuition payment programs offered by retail and service employers a legitimate option? –Gary

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.: Given the rising cost of tuition and shifting job markets, I understand your concern. The last thing you want is the buyer's remorse of earning a degree and being saddled with a mountain of debt at the start of your career. It is wise to look for ways to offset your tuition expenses, and employer tuition assistance programs are certainly worth considering.

You should examine any requirements outlined in an employer's tuition assistance policy. Some employers require the employee to remain with the company for a specified period after receiving assistance. Otherwise, the employee may be required to pay a portion of the benefit back to the employer. Additionally, there is usually a limit on the amount of tuition assistance an employee may be eligible to receive each year.

For an employer, tuition assistance is an effective recruitment tool and helps improve worker retention. As companies help employees fulfill their educational goals, they also support their communities.

Several companies offer an educational assistance program to cover employees' educational expenses or offer student loan repayment assistance. Should you meet specific criteria, the amount paid by the employer is tax-deductible for the company and not considered taxable income for you. Under the plan, employers can provide up to $5,250 per year in tax-advantaged educational expenses; however, the organization is not obligated to offer the full amount. Many companies require you to first apply for federal financial aid, potentially lessening some of the costs and your financial needs.

Under the right circumstances, tuition payment programs can benefit both parties. Employers will attract talent, and employees can reduce their tuition burdens.

Good luck with finding the best option for your financial future.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.