Parting Ways

The last few weeks with Pinkcollar have further elucidated how problematic the power imbalance between workers and employers can be, particularly with regards to the resignation process. Through creating a “parting ways” guide for workers looking to resign from their jobs, I realize how difficult it is for them to do so in situations involving abuse. There is hardly ever significant evidence of abuse, so workers are unable to pursue most colorable claims against employers. I am also learning a lot about the “sena” interview, which is an exit interview meant to avoid claims arising after the worker returns to their home country. 

Once again, the need for attention to detail and crafting language carefully has become an overarching theme for the resignation process. The employment contracts stipulate that workers may only resign for a specific set of “just cause” reasons. Unfortunately, these reasons are exceedingly vague. Ultimately, who is to say what behavior constitutes “maltreatment?” The employers may also contest allegations. For these reasons, it is imperative that workers write their resignation letters carefully to be specific enough to define a legitimate reason for their resignation but not sound like they are blaming the employer. However, doing this as a non-native English speaker can be a challenge. To help workers navigate this process, I am creating a table of reasons for resignation with the corresponding phrasing that workers may use for their resignation letters.

When an employer terminates for just cause, the employee pays the repatriation expenses. Furthermore, when employers want to terminate a worker for just cause, they must have already attempted to address their issue with the worker directly. Therefore, such a situation is very high stakes for workers who do not have the means to pay for flights. To address this issue, I advised workers to keep any warning letters or performance reviews that they receive from an employer to keep a record of formal notices and criticisms they have received. 

Finally, while visiting my family in Dallas, I decided to visit the top Malaysian restaurant in the area to try some of the dishes that my co-workers have raved about. Secret Recipe had so many options, but I went with the Curry Laksa and lamb kebabs. I have been excited to try the Kaya Toast that the Pinkcollar team always has for breakfast, but they did not have this dish, so it looks like I might have to make it myself soon! The spice level and flavors reminded me of Indian cooking, and I felt right at home there. I also loved having a dose of culture to make up for the in-country experience. Stay tuned for more updates!