I beg to disagree. No company should consider an employee who submitted a resignation letter AWOL, whether approved or not. Employers cannot legally reject a resignation letter as this is tantamount to involuntary servitude. No less than the constitution upholds this right.
AWOL, careful scrutiny of the word suggests that there must be intent of the employee to sever the employer-employee relationship and that intent must be clear. How can one consider an employee AWOL if his intention is to sever the ee-er relationship through a resignation letter?
In the private sector, the only requirement imposed on a resigning employee, is to give a thirty-day advanced notice to the employer. This is to give time to look for replacement and to turn-over all documents and unfinished tasks or projects to the incoming successor. They are not even obliged to give a reason or a just cause for leaving. If they fail to do so, the employer may hold the employee for damages. This may take the form of withholding his or her last month salary so as to pay whatever unpaid obligation that the employee might have incurred in course of employment. In case there is still a balance of the one-month salary, the same shall be turned over to the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Those who had been trained at company's expense, and who fail to fulfill their obligation to render a number of years of service, must pay the cost of training. If they fail to pay, the company can file a civil suit against them with damages if warranted by the facts. This, however, does not justify disapproval of the employee's resignation.If the worker has the right to work, they certainly have the right also to stop working. Nobody, not even employers or the government can compel any person to render work against his or her will. Employment is a consensual contract. The consent of both the employer and the employees is an essential element for the validity of the contract. Resignation is an EXPLICIT withdrawal of the employee's consent.
Under the Labor Code, the ONLY remedy for the employer if the employer failed to observe the turnover period is to file for damages and NOT to consider an employer AWOL. They cannot even absolutely hold COEs, Clearances, backpays, etc.