How Abscond Works

When an employee absconds from a company, they either decide not to show up to work anymore and therefore don't notify the company they've resigned or do not follow the proper resignation procedures. In modern slang, you could compare absconding to "ghosting." The person disappears, untraceable or unresponsive.

When placing blame in this situation, it is correct to blame the employee for leaving without saying anything; however, it should initiate a thorough analysis of how the workplace functions and possible issues in the hiring process, management, and employee treatment. Someone could abscond from their job for many, usually severe reasons, including:

  • The personality of the employee
  • The employee is overwhelmed by the work environment
  • Intense dislike of their job
  • Negative work environment
  • Poor management
  • Conflicts between employees
  • Workplace harassment
  • Lack of positive reinforcement
  • Unfulfilled promises from the employer during recruitment

Usually, when an employee fails to show up for work without notifying someone, the company would first try to contact the absconder through phone or email. Should that fail, the next step is to send a certified letter to the absconder's last known address (make sure you include verbiage from the employee handbook about work attendance). If you do not hear from the absconder, send a warning letter. If, after fifteen days, they have not responded, send a notice terminating the employee; up until this point, however, the company must pay the employee.

Abscond Example

Jack just started a new position at a marketing company, but little did he know when he signed up to be a marketing specialist that the company would have him working at the front desk. He brought up this issue to his manager, who said he would speak with his boss. The next day, Jack asked his manager what the boss had said. The manager replied that he wasn't able to meet with the boss and to stick it out a bit longer until he sorted out the issue.

A week passes, and Jack has not received a response from the boss or management. On Monday, he decides not to come to work. The company notices his absence and tries to get in touch with Jack. Jack presses the "ignore" button on his phone, doesn't respond to the email, and starts looking for another job. The company keeps trying to reach him but to no avail; they have no other option than to believe that he has absconded.

They send Jack a certified letter requesting his presence at work the next day, which Jack laughs and throws in the trash. They then send a warning letter to Jack (who has already found a new job) that he will be fired if he does not report to work. Finally, the company sends another letter stating that they've officially terminated Jack from his position. HR investigates why Jack absconded and discovered that he was doing work far from his original job description and management failed to resolve the problem.