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Giving Two Weeks Notice of Resignation

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What if I Don't Give Two Weeks Notice of Resignation?

If your employment relationship includes either an explicit or implied contract that says you must give two weeks notice of resignation and you don't, your employer might have the right to take punitive action. For example, your employer might legally have the right to deny you termination benefits, such as accrued vacation pay.

But, to rightfully impose punitive action, employers typically must document their two weeks notice of resignation requirement along with the consequences for noncompliance. They typically must also make employees aware of the requirement beforehand. However, something as simple as telling you on new-hire orientation day to read your employee policy manual might be sufficient, if it includes a requirement to give two weeks notice of resignation. It depends on the employment laws or precedent set in similar court cases in your state.

Bottom line, it might be a good idea to think twice before screaming, "Take this job and shove it!" while storming out the door. Before you quit without giving notice, check the company's policies and any paperwork you've signed, for the two weeks notice of resignation requirement and what happens if you don't comply. Even if you plan on giving notice, check anyway. Don't assume it's the customary two weeks notice, as some employers require more.

If the "penalty" for noncompliance is minor in your book, consider that you might also be burning a bridge and destroying references. Down the road, that might penalize you again. For example, your former employer might have noted in your employment file that they would not rehire you, because you didn't give the required two weeks notice of resignation. That could hurt your chance of landing a new job when prospective employers conduct background checks. See the article "How to Resign with Class" for tips to avoid burning your bridges while preserving your references.

If you think that you were unjustly penalized for not giving two weeks notice of resignation (or you did, but were penalized anyway), consider consulting a labor or employment attorney.

Giving Two Weeks Notice of Resignation
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Giving Two Weeks Notice of Resignation is just a guide and not intended as legal advice. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. Please see an attorney for legal advice. Because laws vary by state and are subject to change, neither the author nor publisher guarantees the accuracy of this article.

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