A friend of mine finished his Master's program a year ago and started working as a Teaching Assistant at a university. He will be granted assistant professorship this year but he is in the process of applying for his PhD and plans to quit the job. His Master's project supervisor has agreed to write a recommendation letter for him. For his other letter, he is thinking about asking the department head of the university that he presently works as a TA at because it counts as the latest assessment of his academic capabilities.
This is where I come in; I have been advising against asking for this recommendation because my friend had a minor discord with the Head a few weeks ago and though things smoothed out, kind of, my friend isn't sure where he stands when it comes to his department head. Also, by asking for a rec, he will be revealing that he will quit the job, which might not be welcome news. To sum it up, he isn't on best terms with more than one person at his current job and rather than take a risk, it'd be safer to ask another professor from his Master's program to write the letter.
But I'm confused about things myself so: Does this recommendation carry a lot of weight for his higher studies since it shows his current status in academia? Since he is an employee and not a student at the university, does a recommendation from an employer for pursuing an academic degree count in the first place? Does this recommendation add value to his PhD application since despite working as a TA, he has had to do more to support other faculty than teach students for the most part?