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Human Resources/Changing resignation date


Background: I currently work for a national retail chain, and want to leave it for another job offer. There's been a change in my HR manager, and I don't know the details.
Knowing two weeks would not be enough time to adequately get a replacement, I kindly let my manager know I would be putting in notice soon. A week or two later in conversation about it, I said, "For example, if I give you the date June 30th...( blah blah blah)." And she cornered me and said, "We need to know- Is June 30th the date you want to give? We need four to six weeks advance notice." (Though legally they just need two weeks.) I felt pigeonholed and cornered and thought at the time that June 30th was a reasonable amount of time so I said sure, though my hesitation was evident. She said she'd let her district manager (whose not HR) know of my given date. But now I want to leave earlier. If I give written notice will it trump the verbal notice I was coerced in giving? For example, I can give her an earlier date, and still be within the four weeks she requested. I've put in just over 4 years with this company and would like to leave in good standing.


Thank you for the question.  You use the term  "legally they need two weeks" -  why?  How do you feel there is any legal obligation on your part?

Do you have a written employment contract ?  
Do you have this other position lined up to start?    Is it guaranteed you will have this new job and not resign the current job to find the new job  "dried up" and now you are unemployed ?  

There is no law about giving notice as you are likely employed without an employment contract and therefore an at will employee.   So, you can be let go for any reason, no reason and without any notice.  Similarly,  you can also resign anytime you like with or without notice or reason.

As a manager, your employer likely hopes you would give them notice to find your replacement of 2 to 4 weeks.  For most management positions, this is the minimum.  But again, you have no obligation.  (legal anyway).     You could give June 30th as your last day and they can cut you loose tomorrow.  no promises-  due to "At Will" employment.

I hope this helps.  If you do have an employment agreement ( I doubt you would) then follow those terms to resign.

Also, here is an article on at will in the United states by state.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to follow up with other question on this or offer more details and please rate the answer.

Brian Phillips  

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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