Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Resignation Letter


amacmedic

Recommended Posts

I have read through some of the forum concerning the rejection of a resignation letter. It seems to me that the act of rejecting a resignation letter of a Board Officer can be done, but generally is not unless the remaining Board members or body of authority wants or needs to take disciplinary action against the Officer wishing to be excused from his or her duties (assuming the Officer has committed some kind of affront).

Assuming that the Officer is agreeable to continue serving, is it then permissible by the authoring body to reject a letter of resignation because it feels, or has knowledge, that the Officer resigned, not out of doing anything wrong, but as an act of making a principled statement?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read through some of the forum concerning the rejection of a resignation letter. It seems to me that the act of rejecting a resignation letter of a Board Officer can be done, but generally is not unless the remaining Board members or body of authority wants or needs to take disciplinary action against the Officer wishing to be excused from his or her duties (assuming the Officer has committed some kind of affront).

Assuming that the Officer is agreeable to continue serving, is it then permissible by the authoring body to reject a letter of resignation because it feels, or has knowledge, that the Officer resigned, not out of doing anything wrong, but as an act of making a principled statement?

There is no procedural obligation for an assembly to accept a resignation from office; the only caveat is that the officer may abandon the duties of the office after there has been a "reasonable opportunity" for the resignation to be accepted (p. 279, l. 19-20). Further, the causes for a resignation are totally unspecified.

If the resignation is submitted, and rejected, and the officer is willing to continue the duties of office, it would be acceptable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the response and what I have read thus-far, I'm going to assume that there is no rule that a resignation letter must be accepted. This may seem like a ridiculous assumtion since the evidence is very clear that there is no such rule, but I cannot seem to find any reference in RONR to support such evidence. Can I assume, from the lack of reference, that the rejection of such a letter is up to the proper body and cannot be debated as improper because of the lack of reference?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the response and what I have read thus-far, I'm going to assume that there is no rule that a resignation letter must be accepted. This may seem like a ridiculous assumtion since the evidence is very clear that there is no such rule, but I cannot seem to find any reference in RONR to support such evidence. Can I assume, from the lack of reference, that the rejection of such a letter is up to the proper body and cannot be debated as improper because of the lack of reference?

It is debatable (tinted p. 17).

Since it quires a majority to adopt, it could be rejected for a variety of reasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... I'm going to assume that there is no rule that a resignation letter must be accepted.

Exactly. - There is no rule in RONR which implies, "Thou shalt vote 'aye' on [such and such]."

A resignation is a REQUEST. - The request maybe GRANTED or DENIED.

That implies that the negative vote might prevail.

This may seem like a ridiculous assumption since the evidence is very clear that there is no such rule, but I cannot seem to find any reference in RONR to support such evidence.

Exactly.

No rule in RONR implies, "Whenever a REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY pops up, you have no choice but to vote affirmatively."

(Or, put in a negative way, "If anybody votes negatively on a REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY, they will develop a contagious disease; and their dog will die.") ;)

Can I assume, from the lack of reference, that the rejection of such a letter is up to the proper body and cannot be debated as improper because of the lack of reference?

Yes. Assume this.

There is no improper REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY, assuming the request is ____:

(a.) from the correct person. (I.e., you cannot act on a an anonymous tipster, who submits a letter of resignation and signs a fraudulent name of an innocent officer, and thus passes off a bogus letter as a legitimate sincere resignation.)

(b.) submitted to the proper party. (I.e., a board usually cannot accept a letter of resignation, because boards usually are not the party who did the actual original electing of the officer.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my organization the bylaws state that the body elects directors and the Board of Directors elects its officers. In any case, I need to clarify a previous statement. Earlier I stated a question about the rejection of a resignation letter being objected to on the basis of lack of referencing in RONR. This statement was made in context to the discussion phase of the motion. Anyone wanting to object to the rejection of the letter cannot use the argument that since it is not specifically referenced in RONR, it can't be rejected. I hope that clears things up a bit. I do realize that any motion can be defeated for any number of reasons, but the reason that something is not references in RONR is not a reason that a rejection would be out of order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my organization the bylaws state that the body elects directors and the Board of Directors elects its officers. In any case, I need to clarify a previous statement. Earlier I stated a question about the rejection of a resignation letter being objected to on the basis of lack of referencing in RONR. This statement was made in context to the discussion phase of the motion. Anyone wanting to object to the rejection of the letter cannot use the argument that since it is not specifically referenced in RONR, it can't be rejected. I hope that clears things up a bit. I do realize that any motion can be defeated for any number of reasons, but the reason that something is not references in RONR is not a reason that a rejection would be out of order.

I hope that clears things up a bit.

Not so much, I'm afraid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not so much, I'm afraid.

Sorry, In any case, I have the answer that I'm looking for.

There is no rule that says that a letter of resignation has to be accepted. There is also no rule that says it is out of order to reject a resignation letter just because there is no direct reference in RONR that says that such a letter has to be accepted (or rejected for that matter).

Thank you to all those that took the time to post an answer, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... Earlier I stated a question about the rejection of a resignation letter being objected to on the basis of lack of referencing in RONR.

This statement was made in context to the discussion phase of the motion.

Anyone wanting to object to the rejection of the letter cannot use the argument that since it is not specifically referenced in RONR, it can't be rejected...

But it is referenced!

If what you seek is an application of the parliamentary motion, "Objection to Consideration of a Question," and whether this specific motion does apply or does not apply to a letter of resignation, then the answer is:

According to RONR, the motion 'Objection to Consideration of a Question' is only applicable to original main motions. A REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY is never classified as an original main motion, but is classified as either (a.) an incidental main motion, or (b.) an incidental motion. You cannot object to an incidental motion, nor to a incidental main motion.

That is why an objection cannot be raised against a resignation. - A motion "to object to consideration" is out of order, due to the class of the motion which would be pending.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not so much, I'm afraid.

A officer may feel, as a matter of honor, that he must submit. For example, an officer handling the finances may have made what seemed to be sound financial decision, only to lose some of the organization's money through an economic downturn. The officer may have acted rationally and prudently, but still lost some money. He might feel honor bound to resign.

The body might legitimately that the officer's action actually preserved the bulk of the money, providing a "soft landing." They may think he did an exemplary job in the circumstance, and decline the resignation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, In any case, I have the answer that I'm looking for.

There is no rule that says that a letter of resignation has to be accepted. There is also no rule that says it is out of order to reject a resignation letter just because there is no direct reference in RONR that says that such a letter has to be accepted (or rejected for that matter).

Thank you to all those that took the time to post an answer, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge.

Just a thought........ what is the best decision for the good of the organization?

Your original post indicated the officer may have submitted his resignation to make a "principled statement", whatever that might mean. If it amounts to "Oh, Yeah? Well I QUIT!" then I'd say you want to ask if this is the type of personality you want in an officer.

Yes, follow the rules (by all means), none of which will tell you that you must accept or cannot reject the resignation. That's really irrelevant as well as up to the membership (or appointing assembly, who/whatever that might be). What's best for the organization? State the question (ie motion to resign submitted), talk about it (ie debate) and then let the majority tell you (ie vote).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But it is referenced!

If what you seek is an application of the parliamentary motion, "Objection to Consideration of a Question," and whether this specific motion does apply or does not apply to a letter of resignation, then the answer is:

According to RONR, the motion 'Objection to Consideration of a Question' is only applicable to original main motions. A REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY is never classified as an original main motion, but is classified as either (a.) an incidental main motion, or (b.) an incidental motion. You cannot object to an incidental motion, nor to a incidental main motion.

That is why an objection cannot be raised against a resignation. - A motion "to object to consideration" is out of order, due to the class of the motion which would be pending.

From your answer, it seems to me that the only way that someone may raise the motion "to object to consideration" is if the motion pertaining to a letter of resignation were "Motion to reject the letter of resignation from _________________", but since the motion to accept (or reject) a letter of resignation is not an original main motion, than the argument of the probable use of the motion 'Objection to Consideration of a Question' is moot.

I understand where your coming from and I appreciate the correctness of your answer, but what I mean by "direct reference" is the use of specific verbiage printed within RONR on whether it is out of order to reject a letter of resignation or not. I am dealing with some people that do not understand, nor are interested in, learning about RR. The fact that a motion to accept a letter of resignation is an incidental motion or a main motion is lost on them; therefore, it would not occur to them to consider whether the use of the motion 'to object to consideration' it is out of order or even appropriate.

Again, thanks for all your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand where your coming from and I appreciate the correctness of your answer, but what I mean by "direct reference" is the use of specific verbiage printed within RONR on whether it is out of order to reject a letter of resignation or not.

You keep referring to the rejection of the letter and to the fact that there is no explicit reference to this in RONR. But it is not the letter that is being rejected (or accepted) and, indeed, there might not even be a letter (i.e. the resignation might be oral). A resignation, as RONR notes, is a request to be excused from a duty. As such (i.e. a request) it can either be accepted or rejected. If that's not plain enough for your members to understand you won't find a solution to your problem on this forum. Or in RONR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

....

I understand where your coming from and I appreciate the correctness of your answer, but what I mean by "direct reference" is the use of specific verbiage printed within RONR on whether it is out of order to reject a letter of resignation or not. I am dealing with some people that do not understand, nor are interested in, learning about RR. The fact that a motion to accept a letter of resignation is an incidental motion or a main motion is lost on them; therefore, it would not occur to them to consider whether the use of the motion 'to object to consideration' it is out of order or even appropriate.

....

Although it is quite common for people to be unfamiliar with (and uninterested in) such nuances, perhaps a direct citation from RONR will help, since that's what you seem to be asking for.

> If a member who has accepted an office... finds that he is unable to perform it, he should submit his resignation -- normally in writing -- to the secretary or appointing power. By doing so, he is, in effect, requesting to be excused from a duty. The chair, on reading or announcing the resignation, can assume a motion "that the resignation be accepted." < (RONR p. 279 ll. 10-16)

Since this makes it quite clear that the letter of resignation (the request) triggers a motion that the resignation be accepted (either a motion assumed by the chair, as described in the cited passage, or a motion explicitly stated by a member), it follows that the motion can properly have the usual range of outcomes -- it can pass (the resignation request is accepted), or it can fail (the resignation request is rejected). It's a for-real motion, not a pro forma ritual that is only allowed to have one predetermined outcome.

I don't know if that helps, in terms of convincing members of your organization that rejecting a resignation request is NOT out of order?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But it is referenced!

If what you seek is an application of the parliamentary motion, "Objection to Consideration of a Question," and whether this specific motion does apply or does not apply to a letter of resignation, then the answer is:

According to RONR, the motion 'Objection to Consideration of a Question' is only applicable to original main motions. A REQUEST TO BE EXCUSED FROM A DUTY is never classified as an original main motion, but is classified as either (a.) an incidental main motion, or (b.) an incidental motion. You cannot object to an incidental motion, nor to a incidental main motion.

That is why an objection cannot be raised against a resignation. - A motion "to object to consideration" is out of order, due to the class of the motion which would be pending.

Mr. Goldsworthy, I highly doubt the original poster was thinking of "Objection to Consideration of a Question" when he spoke of "objecting to rejecting a resignation letter." It seems to me he was thinking of a Point of Order - a member asserting that a resignation could not be rejected, and I think the discussion of OTC has distracted us from the issue at hand.

From your answer, it seems to me that the only way that someone may raise the motion "to object to consideration" is if the motion pertaining to a letter of resignation were "Motion to reject the letter of resignation from _________________", but since the motion to accept (or reject) a letter of resignation is not an original main motion, than the argument of the probable use of the motion 'Objection to Consideration of a Question' is moot.

Forget all about OTC. It has nothing to do with your question.

I understand where your coming from and I appreciate the correctness of your answer, but what I mean by "direct reference" is the use of specific verbiage printed within RONR on whether it is out of order to reject a letter of resignation or not. I am dealing with some people that do not understand, nor are interested in, learning about RR. The fact that a motion to accept a letter of resignation is an incidental motion or a main motion is lost on them

A motion to grant a request to be excused from a duty (a resignation is a type of such a request) requires a majority vote. (RONR, 10th ed., pg. 278, line 26) It would seem clear that if the motion receives less than a majority vote, it is defeated. For that matter, it should be obvious that there wouldn't be an entire section on the motion if it couldn't be rejected.

That's as direct as it gets in the text. If any of the members raise a Point of Order that the motion cannot be rejected, the chair should rule it not well taken. If the chair is not the sharpest knife in the drawer either, then you may need to appeal from the decision of the chair. (RONR, 10th ed., pg. 247, lines 19-25) A majority vote in the negative overturns the chair's ruling. (RONR, 10th ed., pg. 250, lines 9-11)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... what I mean by "direct reference" is the use of specific verbiage printed within RONR on whether it is out of order to reject a letter of resignation or not.

Okay:

See page 278. See Standard Descriptive Characteristic #7: "Requires a majority vote..."

Q. If a resignation requires a majority vote for adoption, then won't a vote FALLING SHORT OF A MAJORITY be a good enough 'rejection' for your members?

Q. How else do you 'reject' a resignation other than BY VOTING 'NO' when the question is finally put by the chair?

(How do you 'reject' ANY MOTION other than by voting 'no'?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay:

See page 278. See Standard Descriptive Characteristic #7: "Requires a majority vote..."

Q. If a resignation requires a majority vote for adoption, then won't a vote FALLING SHORT OF A MAJORITY be a good enough 'rejection' for your members?

Q. How else do you 'reject' a resignation other than BY VOTING 'NO' when the question is finally put by the chair?

(How do you 'reject' ANY MOTION other than by voting 'no'?)

I think that you, and some other who have been responding to this question, are oversimplifying matters a bit. Obviously there should be a good good reason for rejecting an officer's resignation, because RONR specifically says, as J.J. already noted, "The duties of a position must not be abandoned until a resignation has been accepted and becomes effective, or at least until there has been a reasonable opportunity for it to be accepted."

Ordinarily, an officer is not allowed to abandon the duties of his position, so the rejection of a resignation does create an unusual situation. It seems a bit imprudent to make sweeping assurances that this is not the case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The intricacies of the dynamics of the situation that I vaguely refer too would require to much time and space to type out and would be inappropriate to this forum, so let me just say that in the situation that I speak of, the resigning officer is not interested in abandoning the duties of the office. The resignation letter was a statement in principle. More specifically, it was a statement made with the intention of bringing to the forefront the lack of principled behavior in a very influential member of the Board and the lack of action from the remaining Board to hold this person accountable.

The information that I was seeking was specific and I received exactly what I was needing. This is a complex situation of principle that requires a simple solution. The situation does not require the interjection of complexity that may need to be resolved through RR.

Again, I thank you all for you input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As has been mentioned, a resignation is simply a request (to the appointing or electing body) to be excused from duty. The motion to accept the request is debatable, so the reasons for the request may be explored as long as they are germane to the motion. A majority is required to accept the request. All within RONR.

Of course the possibility exists that the request will be accepted, regardless of the individual's willingness to continue after lodging his protest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... the resigning officer is not interested in abandoning the duties of the office ...

Yes, you said so in your initial question. All I am saying is that the first answer you got -- J.J.'s initial response -- was correct and should have been enough to address the question you asked, but I do not agree with much that was said after that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you said so in your initial question. All I am saying is that the first answer you got -- J.J.'s initial response -- was correct and should have been enough to address the question you asked, but I do not agree with much that was said after that.

Oh, you don't think a motion to accept a resignation is debatable? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that you, and some other who have been responding to this question, are oversimplifying matters a bit. Obviously there should be a good good reason for rejecting an officer's resignation, because RONR specifically says, as J.J. already noted, "The duties of a position must not be abandoned until a resignation has been accepted and becomes effective, or at least until there has been a reasonable opportunity for it to be accepted."

Ordinarily, an officer is not allowed to abandon the duties of his position, so the rejection of a resignation does create an unusual situation. It seems a bit imprudent to make sweeping assurances that this is not the case.

I only "simplified" it because the poster said (repeatedly) that other members of the board insisted that a resignation could not be rejected and needed things in the most direct terms possible. Whether it should be rejected is up to the board to determine, and as you suggest, it would indeed be an unusual situation where it should be rejected.

Apparently, in this case, the unusual situation is that the officer is willing to risk his position in order to make a principled statement, and how that plays out will have much more to do with politics than with parliamentary principles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...