Employment Law/2 Weeks.
When did the idea of two week's notice come about and are there laws related to it? I get the feeling that an employer can say they fired someone if asked (to avoid paying unemployment insurance or whatever) even if they gave two weeks notice and worked well during that time. When is two weeks notice used?
I apologize for the delay.
Remember my response is intended to be educational and informational purposes only. I'm not an attorney nor is this response legal advice. Please review my specific disclaimer;
Employee Giving Two Week Notice
There are no federal or state laws that require an employee to provide two weeks’ notice to his or her employer before quitting. As we discussed in our previous blog, “The Difference Between the Terms ‘At-Will’ and ‘Right-to-Work’“, most states have adopted the at-will doctrine which is a common-law doctrine that defines most employment relationships.
Employer Accepting Two Week Notice
Excluding exceptions, the at-will doctrine gives an employer the right to terminate an employee at any time, without cause or any reason. Likewise, employees are also allowed to leave their employment at any time and without a reason.
In spite of there not being a legal requirement, some employers may have company policies requiring their employees to give two weeks’ notice. Although an employee is generally not required to comply with the policy, many employers penalize employees who do not, where permissible under state law. Such penalties may include forfeiting accrued vacation leave or other accrued benefits.
Employers may also encourage employees to give a two weeks’ notice by offering severance pay. Then again, employers are not required to accept a two weeks’ notice and may release employees from their employment immediately, although this may make the employees eligible for unemployment when they would not have been otherwise.
What about employment contracts?
Employment contracts falls under the at-will exceptions. Generally speaking, employment contracts do not secure indefinite employment. However, an employment contract typically includes procedures for terminating the employment contract. This means, if the terms within the contract require two weeks’ notice, the employee has a binding legal obligation to give the notice.
There may be circumstances however, when the employer and employee may mutually agree to modify or disregard any notice requirements. Each state may have specific laws related to employment contracts; therefore, to address the legalities of employment separation, it may be necessary to consult an attorney who specializes in employment law.
Source: Employment Law Handbook
I hope that helps.
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