Maybe I should use the rest of my sabbatical to volunteer in a union drive. HR recruiters love it when they see evidence of social engagement in an applicant's resume.
On a more constructive note, I think Kicky should write an e-mail to HR, telling
them what his contract says, telling
them he expects the company to fulfill its contract, and cc-ing his boss. When it comes to a head-to-head, he might consider waiving his right ostentatiously
, as a gesture of goodwill to his employer. I agree with Eva that this is probably not worth fighting for to the bitter end. (Lawsuits have a way of getting people off on the wrong foot with one another.) But at least he should document, in writing, that he knows what his contractual rights are, and that he is not a doormat.