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Employees debate ethics of giving two weeks' notice

About a year ago, I wrote a column criticizing an "advice article" in the Chicago Tribune about the practice of giving two-week notices when leaving a company. (Ready to leave? Why you shouldn't give two weeks' notice) It was published both on ePrairie and with the Wisconsin Technology Network (WTN). The Wisconsin copy was left up for comments. Since then, there have been many comments and personal stories of people leaving jobs.

According to WTN's editor, it is the most hit-upon article on their Web site [for a number of weeks well after publication]. When you do a Google search on "giving notice when leaving a company," the article comes up first (even before all the articles from "expert" career counselors and coaches). I never thought this particular article would have such an impact on people and would change their attitudes about their careers.

HR experts, coaches and companies better understand this new philosophy in the workforce. Company policies have created this backlash.

No notice, no blame

While some people disagree with my advice, they are the ones living in a dream world. I believe individuals who give what many companies are giving – an immediate departure upon notice – should not be viewed as negative but as initiating a standard business practice that companies and other organizations themselves have instituted.
When it's to the company's advantage from a pay and benefits standpoint, they want people to leave immediately. When an individual leaves, they want them to give "adequate" notice so the company isn't left in a lurch. In today's society, you can't have it both ways.

With security issues being what they are today, companies will say it is for security purposes that you have to be let go the same day. Shouldn't this then apply from the individual's standpoint as well? Leave immediately. You might be blamed if something goes wrong in that two-week period. You might have this scenario:

"Joe left and didn't finish the quarterly report."
"Sally was supposed to contact the clients for the new product presentation."
"The new pamphlets were supposed to be added to the folders by Bob."

If something isn't finished, the person leaving becomes the scapegoat for everything that has failed or has not been completed in the last six months.

Global feedback

On the WTN web site, comments are from everywhere. One person from New York wrote:

I just finished reading your article. It is refreshing for someone to write about some of the injustices played out on American employees every day by American corporations.

I recently gave my two-week notice of resignation to my employer and am absolutely appalled by the way I'm being treated. Not only was I overworked, severely underpaid and underappreciated for 3.5 years here but I was told that giving only two week's notice is unprofessional. That's funny because a co-worker of mine was told her services were no longer needed and was escorted out of the building the very same day.

As far as I know, New York is an employment at-will state. This means my employer can fire me for no reason (as long as it's not a federally protected reason such as race or religion) and I can resign for no reason. I don't feel I owe my employer an explanation (though they have been continually asking me for one).

In an ideal world, we would all want to give our employers notice of our impending departure far in advance and vice versa. However, this is far from an ideal world and I feel that American corporations are partly to blame for that.

Another reader pointed out the frustration she went through after giving the two-week notice at a medical office. While she was begged to stay and she did, things worsened:

The switch of physicians has not been a good switch. Yes, I have been able to keep my head above water with a new doctor, but it has caused a ton of stress with physical and mental problems. I have been asked to take on more responsibilities that three people could not do.

I was contacted by someone who was opening a new facility in a different field of medicine and they wanted to interview me. While I was not looking for a new job, I went and interviewed any way. This was just in the last week and I received an offer that will increase my pay, lessen my workload (by a million tons), give me better hours and is closer to home.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and when something like this just "falls" into your lap, you shouldn't ignore it. It's a "looking a gift horse in the mouth" sort of thing. After considering the opportunities, I have accepted the new position.

Now comes the issue with giving my two week's notice again. I am to start my new position exactly two weeks from this Monday due to specialized training out of state. After all the stress they gave me the first time around, I am inclined not to give any notice at all. However, I am still torn about the "right thing to do".

In my advice for her situation, I said to leave now. Putting up with stress isn't worth it. Others vow they would never give two week's notice again after the way they were treated after giving notice:

As required by my contract and with heavy expectation on my part to "do the right thing," I gave a two-week notice to leave. One week into the notice, they publicly walked me out the door in front of staff, kept $9,000 of back commission wages and put out a defaming letter to my past clients.

This letter produced 34 client and employee telephone calls to my personal residence about what happened. This questioning was very embarrassing as I had to take the high road with regard to speaking negatively about this employer. Though this event happened nine months ago, I still continue to receive phone calls from clients.

When you work with the highest intention for your employer, remain ethical in communication and interactions, practice honesty and high ethics, receive outstanding sales awards, create a repeat clientele base and provide proper notice to leave, why would a company treat me or anyone else like this? Is it simply company ego?

I'm unclear what proper work ethic is within the corporate structure as the reward for acting with integrity is repaid by public humiliation, non-payment of wages and loss of reputation. If I ever decide to leave a job again, I will not be giving a two-week notice. The valuable insight and comments from this Web site has started my healing process. Thank you.

Several weeks ago, I was called on a Saturday from someone who read my article and was going to leave his situation at an American university in Greece. He wanted to get an outsider's perspective on his situation and we wound up talking on the phone for about 30 minutes. His situation warranted an immediate departure.

Stress: a motivator to move

Look at your paychecks. Nothing on your check adds money for job-related stress. Still, job-related stress will add to your doctor bills significantly.

A doctor treating patients for acid reflux and stomach problems said the source for 80 percent of these problems is related to work. He told my wife: "The best prescription I can give to you is to change jobs." She did. Her blood pressure went from 145/90 to 100/68. She stopped taking Nexium, too, which is a prescription drug for acid reflux.

A long time ago, a mentor told me there are three things to look for when thinking about moving to a new job: more money, more convenience and more advancement.

If you can get two out of the three elsewhere, move. If it also lessens your stress, my recommendation is to move immediately. For those who are taken aback by employees leaving and creating an immediate void, maybe you should get some training on how to work with people.

Carlinism: While stress isn't part of your paycheck, it is part of your doctor bills.

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888. Copyright 2006 Jim Carlini.

The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.


Wendy responded 9 years ago: #1

You article is so true. I left a job after six months of mental torture which resulted in physical problems. When I did leave, it was immediate, my resignation was emailed during lunch and I left the building. At my previous job when I was laid off I was told at 3:30 p.m. and they couldn't get me out of the building fast enough. This month I am going to an Unemployment Hearing to fight for six weeks of benefits I feel I am entitled to. For some person in an office in Albany to tell me that I quit my job for no good reason is a slap in my face. I look forward to telling my story to a judge. Even if I don't see a penny, it will be out in the open and off my chest.

Kathy Kaminen responded 9 years ago: #2

I worked for a Green Bay insurance company for 5 and a half years. Our department had been on mandatory overtime for 4 of those years, and continues to be on this overtime (even though they claim to be fully staffed). I had been searching for new employment for the last year. I was considered to be a good employee, always recieved raises, never abused our sick time, etc. Initially I was going to NOT give a 2 week advance notice. However, I was raised with the mindset that it is the proper thing to do. So, I gave my notice, had it in writing with my supervisors signature, then 4 hours later, was treated like a criminal, walked out the door, while others packed up my desk for me. I was also informed by these so called professional office people that I would NOT get any compensation. My lesson is learned. I will NEVER give a 2 week notice again. Rather, I will work to the time I intended to, then pack up my desk, stop by the managers office on my way out with a notice of my terminating my own employment.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #3

Professionalism is a two-way street and what is deemed "proper" today is different than what it was forty years ago.

Unfortunately THAT immediacy of dismissal (Kathy's situation) is so prevalent. You start out well-intentioned and then after announcing your "two-weeks notice" BANG, you are a pariah, a leper and must be escorted to the door. So why put yourself through all this grief - get your stuff in order, clear everything out, and pleasantly say goodbye and thank you for the opportunity to have worked here.

This is happening at all different companies and at all levels. Some of it is legitimate from a security standpoint to get people off systems immediately but BE AWARE of that.

If you or your employer want something different - put it in an employee contract agreement where either side must give 15 or 30 days notice. Otherwise, do NOT expect anything from either side. No compensation and no "cleaning up all the issues in the next two weeks."

Jane responded 9 years ago: #4

In my opinion, I think giving at least two weeks - three weeks notice should be given to your employer when leaving a job. Especially if you have a boss that has treated you well. There are many bosses and businesses that treat their employees with respect no matter what during their last days. I have always given 3 weeks to a month notice before leaving a job and was able to leave without worry. It takes some time to hire a replacement and then for that replacement to fill your shoes - you can completely screw over your projects, clients, and co-workers with little notice (since they have to pick up your slack). You really are punishing your coworkers and immediate supervisor when you leave. I have experienced being a boss recently and have gone out to bat for my employees various times - often putting my name out for attack. I was very hurt to hear after all that I had done for my employees that one decided to just give me 2 weeks notice during the busiest most hectic time every since I had worked there (honestly was working 60 hour weeks to keep afloat). My employee and I were having problems with the owners not providing full health insurance benefits (her reason for quitting). I had repeatedly tried to get these benefits. So her quitting really didn't even affect the upper management imposing the disbenefit- it hurt me to the point of medical issues and exhaustion. In all, I really think that most of us should think beyond their paranoia and start thinking about what your boss has to go through - especially if they were good to you.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #5

JANE - you were very fortunate for getting a two-week notice from your employee and should take that as a positive in itself. She does NOT owe you two weeks let alone tnree weeks.

If she gave you the two-week notice, she must have felt that she was being more than fair. Yet you are looking for more. If you (or your company) are requiring more, it should be in a contract but most companies will not want to get into that. It sounds like your company was short on benefits. Maybe you should be looking for a new job as well.

Most people leave a job because they are underpaid, overworked, stressed out and maybe have less benefits than they should. They see a better opportunity and see that nothing is being offered for them to stay - why should they stay?

Sounds like your employee gave you everything that was expected (and probably more). As you pointed out, your management did not do anything to work out her problem and you may have passed her request on but let's face it - nothing happened.

As for companies hiring people, most want them quickly and they are not going to wait a month. Would yours?

Turnover is usually a big thing when companies do not treat their employees fairly. In your case, even though you may bave been ok - the employee needed better benefits. She DID give you two weeks and you should not expect more than that in today's environment. Read the way the other respondents have been treated.

Jacob responded 9 years ago: #6

2 week notice is the thing of the past unless you are sure they are not going to can you right away. The last company I left, I gave them my 2 week notice and they were fine. With the current one, it is not happenning. I am going to just hand in my letter, say good-bye and be out the door. When I was laid off, no one gave me 2 week notice, and I know if it comes down getting rid of me or anyone else for that matter, there won't be any notice given.

Cathryn responded 9 years ago: #7

This in respone to the above comment made by "Jane." It is my feeling, and the feeling of many others, that two weeks notice is a sufficient AND STANDARD time period for the employer to find a suitable replacement. At times, one's only choice is to give two weeks due to salary negotiations and other circumstances surrounding the hiring process (such as the request for immediate employment at the new firm). It sounds as if "Jane" took her situation a little too personal, and, if she was indeed overworking herself, she should have delegated some of her tasks to her employees that are working less than she is. One's health is of paramount importance and one must re-evaluate their situation if their job is compromising their health. Also, I feel that higher management is supposed to work harder than their subordinates due to the fact that they are generally responsible for a greater portion of the company.

Charlie responded 9 years ago: #8

In response to Jane's comments:
It's not paranoia it's reality. I just resigned from my job to take accept a position with one of my former employer's partners. The only reason I had explored this opportunity is because my employer laid me off in January of 2006 for no good reason during a restructuring and only gave me 2 weeks severance. After 3 weeks they realized what a great job I was doing and they were overwhelmed with emails and phone calls from my contacts, so they asked me to come back. I accepted because I have a family and had no other choice at the time. I was very well like at this company and doing a lot of work for less money than comparable positions in my industry. When I agve my 2 weeks notice, I was told the next day will be my last and they were not going to pay me for the 2 weeks! Here's the best advice I can give anyone and I believe is a great strategy. When you get an offer try to leave the start date a bit flexible. If you believe it's the "right thing to do" by giving 2 weeks notice, then do it on the Friday before the Monday you start your new job. If your current employer turns out to be a back stabbing, unprofessional bunch of clowns and tells you that this is your last day, you are covered financially. If by chance they accept your offer and need you to stay on for the two weeks, I'm sure your new employer might understand and it might even reflect well on your style? YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOURSELF, MANY OF THESE COMPANIES DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU.

Kunal Bhatia responded 9 years ago: #9

I too have left my previous job without a two weeks notice. Instead I faxed my resignation letter with a same day notice to leave. However a month later (yes, my previous employer's management process is slow) the company's VP sends me a letter stating that they have 'rejected' my notice and are still keeping me as an employee since I have not properly handed over my project. Can they legally deny my resignation or do I have the upper hand here? When it comes to 'handing over' I repeatedly told them to hire juniors so that I can train them the technical work. Also, I haven't taken anything that’s theirs. Are they just trying to scare me? They say that I am still an employee yet they haven’t sent me any paychecks for the last month. Should I fight with them on legal terms or should I just ignore them for a while and let all the smoke clear out. What legal steps do I have to clear myself from them?

Chuck responded 9 years ago: #10

I was laid off with 8 weeks notice which seems great on the surface but to collect my severance I have to work the entire 8 weeks. The company has pushed me to work overtime to meet their schedules in the next 8 weeks. I told them that if their schedule is so important they shouldn't have laid me off. To get me to work overtime they would have to pay contractor rates for the extra hours or put my severance check into my hands immediately. That of course was outrageous to them.

I expect to receive a job offer this week and upon receipt I plan to go into work, gather my belongings and terminate on the spot. Despite losing my severance pay my future is now with another employer and I owe the previous company nothing.
Call it "giving something back".

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #11

Shedding some light on this issue has really brought back a lot more feedback than I thought it would. It appears as though the common courtesy or professional courtesy of "giving two-weeks notice" has disappeared from many people's attitude. In all of the cases where people have left early, I do not blame them. Look at the circumstances.

And to those reading this that are "shocked", I say wake up and smell the Starbuck's. We have cranked out a lot of "managers" but few leaders from all the business schools.

You manage resources, but you "lead" people. Based on the feedback, there could be a better job done at the management level. As a hire/fire "manager" are you doing a good job with your people?

Loyalty is a two-way street and based on how companies have gone about laying people off, it is now affecting how people leave the job.

Anonymous responded 8 years ago: #12

I too resigned the day of. I just called my boss and asked if I could leave because I wanted to move away from home. I was so stressed out at home that I couldn't stand another day! haha. My boss said, "do what you have to do." So I hung up, packed my stuff, and hopped a train. I worry to this day though (a year and half later) if I made the decision there. I don't think I'll ever miss giving two-weeks notice again. It really hurts years after when you look back on it. It kind of erases the good memories you had of working there.

Kev responded 8 years ago: #13

You spelled "paycheque" wrong

Lisa responded 8 years ago: #14

I just accepted a position at a company I previously worked for for almost 6 years. This past March I put in my two week notice and went to work for another company because I thought they had better opportunities for me. Since working for this company I have had opportunities alright. Opportunities to see how a callous, greedy, corporation runs it's business with little or no focus on employee satisfaction. I've lost any respect I may have had for them in the last four months I started with them for many reasons. I negotiated a position back at my old company. I don't have any vacation time there until I have worked there the regular alloted time any employee needs to. They want me to start without a full two week notice to my current company. I wanted at LEAST a full week off between jobs to decompress from all the stress I've been under at this job. I'm not afraid of burning any bridges or tainting my resume by giving them less than two weeks notice.I plan on cutting all ties with them as soon as possible. Is there any reason why I shouldn't just tie up a few loose ends in the next or two and just hand my NEWLY HIRED supervisor a
letter of resignation at the end of the next business day of my choosing this week? Is resignation with less than a week notice from a retail position different from resigning from any other NON retail position?

Rob responded 8 years ago: #15

I had a friend who quit his old job to come to work for my present employer. He gave two weeks notice and they reduced his pay to minimum wage for those two weeks and did not tell him until he was on his way out the door. Two weeks notice should only be used in the best of working situations.

Jennifer responded 8 years ago: #16

I need some advice…
How would an employee resign immediately - I see no need in the two week notice -
if their boss was out on medical leave and the only person left in charge was the secretary?
Would a phone call to the home be un-ethnical? Or how about sending an e-mail along with a mailed copy of the resignation letter? Or do you notify the secretary and leave it up to them to pass on the news?

angry worker responded 8 years ago: #17

In 2006, your employer does not care about there employees.

At this company I am currently working for, the manager makes comments to his employees, "if your not happy, leave." Well, we have had 6 to leave in this department in the past month, and still the numbers are rising. A co-worker had volunteered to work some Sunday shifts, and yesterday she put her "two-week notice" in and asked if I still can work those Sundays. Later on that day, when it was time for her to leave, he asked her not to come back. So why should we give a two-weeks notice when you're trying to benefit the department and your employer wants you to leave?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #18

JENNIFER - A professional way to leave would be to type up a brief resignation letter stating when you are leaving and giving it to the secretary if no one else is there. Male sure you turn in everything - AND GET SOME TYPE OF RECEIPT.
You have to take a professional approach, but if it were them letting you go, it would be just as fast.

ANGRY WORKER - That seems to be the norm. I think most people would work the two weeks but when you see a corporate attitude like that and they do not get rid of the manager, giving two-weeks' notice becomes ludicrous. And unfortunately, people are seeing more of that at what were once considered "good companies." Many middle managers should be cleaned out but policy also comes from the top. If they are reflecting the senior management's attitude, no one should cry when people leave with no notice. As to burning bridges, I don't think anyone wants to go back and work for someone like that. AND they are never going to give you a good reference.

all_glitters responded 8 years ago: #19

I am so pathetic! Most of all, I'm just scared, which makes me pathetic, because I was offered a better job with more pay, more security and killer benefits, BUT I'm sooo scared to tell my boss. I work for a small business...I mean, like...really, really small, and my boss has always been nice to me, well all during the two months I have been there anyway. I don't mean to sound vain, so please don't get me wrong, but I've had job offers left and right - including this one, which is too good to pass up, but which I don't know if I will have the heart to do. This is why I am pathetic.

You see, my current employer "stole" me ("stole" is the word my last employer used when I left) from my last employer, whom I was with for only two months, too. I'm not the type of person to hop jobs, but it's just that for some weird reason..during the last couple of's like employers love me or something. Anyhow, I want to be loyal to my current employer, but my family needs financial stability, which this new job offers - and we are barely hanging in there with the mortgage and all the bills.

Am I weird, or do other people have anxiety attacks over quitting their jobs, too??? I think about it all day at work - this horrible feeling of back stabbing my employer. It's like I'm doing the same thing to them as I did to my other employer. I'm starting to think if I'm a job hopper. I don't want to be. I know I'm not, but it worries me that people will see me this way. When I got hired, I told my current employer I'd stay there for a couple of years...and truly that was my intention at that time. I don't want to hurt my boss' feelings by quitting.

God, I am sooo pathetic. A long time ago when I used to see a therapist, she told me I have a chronic people pleasing problem... this is why I NEED to know if I'm just being weird, or if it's normal to feel this much anxiety over quiting a job? And, of course, you guys have to go agree that given the small business status and the way my boss has been so great to me...that I MUST give her two weeks notice, RIGHT? I mean, come on...there has to be exceptions to this "no notice" rule.

Shane responded 8 years ago: #20

Hey, hopefully someone answers me today because this is my last day to decide. I have 16 credit hours of college coming up this week and have just been accepted for a new job. Combine that with my old job that's around 55-60 hours of work (if I give two weeks) as well as tons of school. I can't reasonabily do this and that's why I wonder if it is okay to tell my employer that I cannot work for them or give them two weeks and just hop to my new employer. My question then, is simply: Can my old employer hurt me? Y'know like bad information on my background check for future jobs or somehow calling my new boss and telling him I didn't put in two weeks (which my new boss expects me to do, but also wants me to work for him immediately). Any comments would help. Thanks.

Rachael Stratten responded 8 years ago: #21

I submitted a two-week notice and my employer afterward found a reason to suspend me near my last day of work. I wonder if I have legal grounds for discrimination.

Frank Kristiansen responded 8 years ago: #22

I got this kitchen job that I applied for on a Monday, then began Tuesday. I then worked 15 days straight, sometimes working until midnight, then having to come in at 6 a.m. the next day. I have a 12-day stint coming up, but I also have a government job offer. Much obliged for helping me shake this archaic 2-weeks' notice nonsense, since they would have given me the grungiest, most untouched tasks imaginable.

Jake Feghan responded 8 years ago: #23

I recently quit a job with no notice, and my previous employer is not intending to give me my last paycheck. I can't imagine them being able to legally do this. What recourse do I have? I went to the State of Illinois Department of Labor and obtained a Wage Claim form, but that could take months. Anyone have any advice?

john responded 8 years ago: #24

I recently resigned from a job that I had been at for 2.5 years. I gave my employer 1 month notice and she was fine with that. I worked the full month, finishing out my last pay period. When payday rolled around, my check was not deposited into my account. I'm in Michigan and am wondering if this is legal and if not what are the actions I can take?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #25

Jake and John

Sounds fishy - both of you better check with state labor departments. These two articles seem to be a magnet for things really happening in the workplace. Hopefully, readers are learning from others' issues.

cesar roque responded 8 years ago: #26

I just told my boss I'm leaving (I'm sushi chef) and he is holding my salary for two weeks. If i leave before, he said I won't get any money. I thought two weeks notice was optional.

Anne responded 8 years ago: #27

Thanks for steering me in the right direction (state labor departments). I think I have a case against my work!

DRK responded 8 years ago: #28

I am in an odd situation TODAY - so hopefully someone can respond to this today. I work for a small (5-6 employee) consulting firm. I have recently accepted a position elswhere for many reasons - mostly my boss is a very angry person and I am tired of being yelled at.

Anyway, today (10/6/2006) is payday and I just received a decent bonus with this check. However, based on the timing I just gave my new employer, I have to give my two week notice either today or Monday morning. Two problems with this:

- My boss did not get payroll done on time and as such my check is not yet in the bank and I fear he could take away my bonus if I give him a two-week notice today.

- Monday (Oct. 9, 2006) I am working out of state and catching an airplane early in the morning and cannot give the two-week notice in person.

I know the article suggests not giving a two week notice, but this is not the typical "corporation" style employment. It's a small company, and I feel some loyalty to the company. Yet at the same time knowing my boss' anger issues, I know he will lose it when I give notice and potentially make my life a living hell at work for the next two weeks. Plus, I will be out of town working for him for a week of my two weeks' notice - I don't know what to do!


Vivi responded 8 years ago: #29

Depend on your relationship with your employer. I thought I was being professional to give my former employer a 2 weeks notice. The next day, she turned around and gave me a letter stating the company doesn't need my service anymore. And I thought everyone should be profession but guess not, especially when the grapes went sour.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #30

"TWO WEEK NOTICES ARE OBSOLETE." Check out my latest views at my blog After talking with many people, things are changing. A notice is optional, not obligatory.

Beebeth responded 8 years ago: #31

This is so interesting because I am in my first job out of college and just submitted my two-week notice after six months with the company. While I have had no negative repercussions directly aimed at me yet (pertaining to early job displacement from the company), I have gotten some really nasty stares from the management - multiple people, multiple times.

Of course, given the news, many of my colleagues have been swarming my desk to see where my next position leads me. The team has been performing poorly to begin with, but now I am being positioned as the scapegoat because they think I am a disturbance. My manager had a talk with me about telling people to leave me alone, so it doesn't disrupt the team and distract everyone, and said that if they see that I'm obviously not trying anymore, that I would be terminated earlier than the date on my resignation.

This makes me wonder why I even gave them two weeks at all, since my new employer wants me to start ASAP. All of my colleagues and even seniors who are not direct managers are so happy for me and even have "quit envy" because they are so burnt out by our 12-hour days (we're looking at 15 in a row like that) and no overtime pay. In the future, I will definitely think again before giving an entire two weeks. In our society, we're not taught to be selfish, but selfless... but when it comes to your career, it's true that you have to think only about yourself.

Nicole responded 8 years ago: #32

I recently gave my notice because I was passed over for a promotion after being given four out of five interviews I was promised. The individual selected for the position has been with the company for two months, whereas I have been there for seven, and I was the highest ranked agent within the company.

During the interview process, I discovered he had been referring to me as "psycho" and stating that he was "scared of me," stemming from an incident that was not properly handled by the supervisor. After the decision was rendered a day early and an interview short, I left work and called to give my two weeks notice, which was accepted by my supervisor over the phone. Ten minutes later, she called back and left a voicemail stating that it was not "necessary" for me to serve out my notice and that the contents of my desk would be packed up and available for pickup in the front office. I feel like I've been fired. Aside from being hurt personally, do I have any recourse? All the other employees who have left were permitted to serve out their notice.

Alfred responded 8 years ago: #33

"I feel like I've been fired. Aside from being hurt personally, do I have any recourse? All the other employees who have left were permitted to serve out their notice."

No. Don't bet on recourse.

Make lemonade from lemons. As if your future employer wants to know that (s)he has hired a crybaby.

Jennifer responded 8 years ago: #34

Power to the People! It's about time employers got a dose of their own medicine. They deserve it. I quit my
job of seven years on Friday after being a star employee. And I don't even have another job. The new know-nothing supervisor they hired can do my job now instead of pecking me to death and trying to micromanage the person who wrote the manual - me! Have fun, dear! I was vexing about not giving notice until I stumbled across this article. This makes me feel soooo much better. Thank you!

Beef responded 8 years ago: #35

First up, thanks for this page, and all the advice in it.

Now for my story.

I've had an offer to work as a contractor.

The job looks interesting.

A reputable, global manufacturer has gone to a reputable, global IT firm for a service.

The IT firm has gone to an agency, who got in touch with me.

It looks, from reading the documents I have been given, that I would be an consultant paid an hourly rate by the agency, which is a subcontractor to the IT firm, which in turn is a contractor to the manufacturer.

Now, looking in the documents, I find lots of badly drafted pseudo-legal jargon, that I imagine is there to try to browbeat me into submission even before I start the contract.

Can I be bound by statements such as:
Employee agrees and understands that it is the Client’s and agency’s desire that the employee stay on this project until it is completed, or until the employee is instructed by the agency to terminate the work.

Notwithstanding the above, the employee may terminate services under this agreement by giving two weeks notice to the relevent agency administrator.

The employee hereby agrees that to not leave the current position with the agency during the first 31 days without the agency's prior written consent."

So it looks like if I tried to exercise my "right to terminate at will," I would be in breach of contract, leaving myself open to attack in a civil action.

Another document, over fifty pages long, includes such phrases as:
"the terms and conditions in this document do not create any legally binding obligation on the part of the agency, and there are neither promises nor offers contained in it"

"this is an 'at will' job; the agency may terminate it for a good reason, for a bad reason or even for no reason at all[sic]"

Note, that the agency admits that it reserves for itself the right to take arbitrary and indefensible decisions...

I'm having second, third, and even fourth thoughts about taking this job.


JAMES CARLINI responded 8 years ago: #36


Sounds like the firm has been burned before and is trying to firm-up one side of the agreement. If they can walk on you with no additional pay, you can walk on them with no additional time.

I have seen contractors take a six-month assignment only to be told three days later that the client has decided to take a different direction and that the project was terminated - here's the three days' pay that you worked and thanks a lot.

They did not get the balance of the six months they were promised. AND - no recourse with the contractor. So much for contract work.

You get a better deal - you leave. Sorry to all the fly-by-night contractors that have screwed this whole industry up, but that's what happens when the pendulum swings the other way.

Gospelwarrior responded 8 years ago: #37

I just found out today that I will not be receiving a year end bonus. I resigned on 12/01/06 with my effective last day being 12/31/06. I gave one-month notice so that it would give my employer ample time to find a replacement so that I could train them prior to my departure. I even re-arranged my vacation days so that I could take care of deadlines and close out the year. Well today, I found out that bonuses were given out two weeks ago, but I did not receive a bonus. I am still working and tomorrow is my last day. I feel that I have been cheated, especially since I went out of my way to get things done prior to leaving. I feel that I earned this bonus but was told by the corporate office that bonuses are a gift for employees who will be staying with the company. But how can they really know who will leave and who will stay? I feel that I earned my bonus since I worked the entire year and was still employed when the bonuses were given out. I worked so many extra hours without pay and even worked through my lunch. Now I am very disappointed that I gave more to the company than what they deserved. My boss put a call in to corporate but my last day is tomorrow. Can you advise if I have a claim?

Anonymous responded 8 years ago: #38

I will be starting my new job in two weeks, but my dilemma was if I should give two weeks' notice to my current employer.
At my previous job, I was let go the same day (without pay) when I told my empolyer that I will be leaving in two weeks.
This is why I have decided I will not be giving two weeks notice and I will leave the same day I resign.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #39


I am not an attorney so I cannot advise you legally what your options are. I could give you some sappy euphemism and say you did the right thing and it is unfortunate that you ended up this way (and probably with no recourse) - but I won't.

I think you should have a meeting with not only your boss but however high an executive that you can get to listen to you and explain what you just said here. (hopefully it's not too late - I am just reading this now as I do not read these feedbacks daily; write to my blog...

Your story is a great one because you did EVERYTHING the way "you're supposed to," according to all of the people pushing obsolete "professional etiquette for working relationships." You should be commended for that - now go along your merry way.

SERIOUSLY - You should have waited to get the bonus and then leave. You deserved a bonus.

EVERYONE - WAKE UP AND TAKE NOTICE. Based on what I see, this is a good employee. He (or she) will NOT be giving notice next time.

Gifts for employees? You sound like you put in an extra effort and got no recognition for it.

Where is all of the outcry that the management didn't do the right thing from all you readers?

Management is the big loser here. They have set a bad policy where now others who are still there know about. Do you think that others are going to do what you did?

All I can say is don't let this jade you for the next employer but I cannot see how you will be "giving notice" without evaluating the consequences first.

annoynmous responded 8 years ago: #40

I am in my first trimester of pregnancy and work at a job that is very physically demanding. To avoid heavy lifting,c climbing ladders, and standing all day, I would not be able to complete any of my responsibilities. I planned to leave after my first trimester anyway, but have had severe morning sickness and have been absolutely miserable.

I informed my boss last week, after many days of having to call in sick, that he should look for a relacement for me. Now this week, I have decided I should not go back at all due to concerns of pushing myself too hard and it having a negative affect on the pregnancy. While I have always had excellent work ethic and believed in giving notice, I now feel that putting my boss's needs in front of my own would be a poor decision for the health of me and my baby. I am getting a lot of dissaproval from people though, who feel bad for my boss and think I should give proper notice and stick it out.

I am not proud for the decision I am making, but I don't see any other way, as I have been too sick to perform my job. I am terrified to inform my boss of my resignation because I have witnessed him bad talking other employees who have left with no notice. Because of how nervous I am, I may just send an e-mail about my leaving and mail my small work issued computer back to him. Am I wrong, or is this the right thing to do?

Julie responded 8 years ago: #41

I have been loosing sleep & stressing for about five days on whether to give notice or not. After reading this I am NOT giving notice. I am walking in tomorrow, getting my last paycheck, cuz its payday & giving "Notice of my termination of my employment" with my key & leaving. Fortunantly the very next day I am starting my new job. I can't wait until tomarrow is over. Thank you for this article, its helped my brain calm down. It has been so full all day thinking about this whole situation. Wish me luck!

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #42

You did the right thing. And you don't need luck - you have the determination to start a new job and that takes guts. Focus on your new job and take pride that you made an executive decision. You left a bad situation and did not succumb to any "traditional pressure" to stay two weeks at a place you did not like. And reading responses on both this column and the original two-week notice column, most people, when announcing that they are giving notice, are getting escorted to the door anyway.

When jobs start to give you physical and mental stress - it's time to GO. As for references, you worked there from date to date at this level. That's all most employers are going to give, and most hiring companies talk to HR. Some may not even call your direct former boss.

Sara responded 8 years ago: #43

The staff manual for the small company I work for says that staff are supposed to give two weeks notice when resigning. I've worked for them for less than four months, and have been miserable every day. I've just been offered a fantastic new job, at almost double the pay I'm making now, with excellent benefits (I get very few here).

I live in Virginia, which is an at-will state, so my question is this: would there be any legal repercussions for me if I don't follow company policy? My employer (it's a sole proprietorship) is the kind of person who holds grudges and acts on them.


ANONYMOUS responded 8 years ago: #44


Nellie responded 8 years ago: #45

I am very conflicted. I began working for a small company five months ago who I knew to be having financial problems. I had a vested interest in this business staying open as my daughter was an athlete and we had invested $4,000 in a four-year membership in 2005. As it turns out, my last two paychecks have bounced and I am not comfortable working for a person who is not honest or even acknowledges that our paychecks are no good. So I have worked the past month essentially for free. I feel if he would be honest and upfront I would stick it out, but as he continues to pretend everything is great; meanwhile everyone's payroll checks keep bouncing. Do I owe it to him to give a two week's notice, especially being I am the only one working the front desk? Morally I feel like I should help train someone, yet also feel like I would be part of a lie knowing there is great chance the new persons checks will also bounce. And if I stay and continue to take money from customers knowing that just maybe the business will go under and they will have no recourse, that I am a part of the lie. What do I do?

Janet Doey responded 8 years ago: #46

I am fed up with my employer. I have had problems with sexual harrassment, discrimination, illegal practices, stress, and now my safety. I experienced a work related injury this past week. Is it legal for them to call me in after they have a doctor's note stating for me not to, and then tell me "since you didn't follow doctor's wishes, you won't be covered?"

Secondly, I will be leaving in this month as I have planned. I don't want to leave a two-week's notice. My question to you is, what are the effects of not leaving a notice? Can future employers verify my terms of resignation and how? Is this taking into consideration during the hiring process? Please reply soon.

Joe responded 8 years ago: #47

Just wondering something, I had to leave my job because of medical reasons without giving my two weeks' notice. Do they still have to mail me my t4 slip? It's been a few months and im wondering if i will have to go in myself. Unfortunately my past employer seems to love harassing me about my sudden exit. Also telling me that if I use them as a reference, she'll definitly tell them about not giving my two weeks. I told her fine as long as she says it was for "medical reasons."

fairhairedgal responded 8 years ago: #48

I too am wondering what Janet has mentioned about leaving a job with no notice and if that will turn up in my future when applying for a new position. Does no notice automatically blackball you onto the 'not eligible for rehire' list. I left a company after nine long miserable months before Christmas of 2006 (with no notice), and after going on several interviews, I have yet to receive one offer. Now perhaps I am a terrible interviewee and it's a slow time of the year for hiring, but my paranoid side has to wonder if my former boss is being contacted as a back door reference (I do not even list him; I list an HR rep) and slandering my good name. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

While I agree that two week's notice is archaic and outdated, I still feel that society deems you a bad or irresponsible person if you don't feel that you are indebted to a company that is mistreating you. Remember, we work to live not live to work.

Lynne responded 8 years ago: #49

I quit my job last year without notice and it has come back to haunt me, so the chances are good that it may happen to you also. I had been with this company for 17 years and expected to retire there. But then several things happened -- I did not receive a promotion that I had earned, it was given to the girlfriend of my boss's boss. Then someone left and it was decided to eliminate that position and "Lynne can pick up the slack." Soon I was doing my job plus the other one for no extra money. I was also subjected to verbal abuse, harrassment, and contempt. This all took place over several years, and it ate away at my soul. I started looking for another job, but at interviews people were always suspicious about why I wanted to leave a place I'd been for so long. I was finally offered a temp-to-hire job at about the same money & benefits level. They called me Friday morning and asked if I could start Monday as the person I was replacing had left early. I typed my resignation letter, enclosed my keys and credit card (cut into pieces) and handed the envelope to my boss while he was on the phone (and scratching his nuts at the same time!). He came to my desk later and said "good luck" and that was it. But the new job turned out to be worse than the one I'd left, and I quit after two months. On applications where it has "reason for leaving," I put that I'd been offered a new job, which was a temp job. But again interviewers were suspicious about why I'd left a good job with a big company for a temp-to-hire at a small local business. I had a little speech about wanting a different environment, which I'm sure they didn't believe. I didn't put my ex-boss as a reference, which was questioned by one interviewer. I saw a flash in his eyes and I thought "now he's suspicious about why I left off my ex-boss's name" and sure enough I didn't get the job. I also put HR's phone number and I know they will only verify dates of employment. But some applications ask for "name of supervisor" and I have to put my ex-boss. If I put anyone else they'll just say "oh, she worked for so-and-so, not me." You might try signing on with a temp agency. I did this after months of nothing, and now I'm on a temp-to-hire job that I like, and I hope I am hired permanently.

Lynne responded 8 years ago: #50

This post is to Nellie; I think you need to quit NOW and stop working for free. If the company's finances are so bad that your paychecks are bouncing, it's probably far too late for them to rebound. It sounds as if they are headed for extreme legal trouble, possibly even arrest for fraud if they are taking customers' money. If you stay, you could be named in any lawsuits that customers might bring against them. Please get out now, while you can. Don't worry about staying to train a new person, you have to think of yourself and your well-being. They sound like the type of business that might close up shop and leave town over the weekend.

Tracy Borden responded 8 years ago: #51

On March 1st, I gave my boss a one-month notice due to my child's medical condition. Today, at around 6 p.m., when I'd normally get off at 5 p.m., my boss told me that I should wrap things up by Friday because someone would be taking my position on Monday and there's no room for me and there'd be nothing for me to do. That leaves me with two whole weeks of no pay. I'm thinking of what to do?

Adam responded 8 years ago: #52

Bouncing payroll checks is the sign of a company in critical distress. It is likely that no one will ever get paid again and the company will fold, so continuing to work there is foolish. Insist that you get all your back pay immediately and that you will not work another day until they do that. What you are really doing is quitting and getting another job, the only difference is that you are not telling them this information because they owe you money. There is a small chance they will pay you in the hope that you will continue to work there, which lets you leave with them owing you nothing. Or you can continue to work if you choose but I strongly advise against it. This plan is better than having to file a claim with their bankruptcy court, which liquidates the company and pays only a fraction of their debt to you and creditors.

Realize that a failing company will stall on all other debts and only bounce payroll as a last resort because they know that once that happens, they are really dead. The workforce will leave and then there is no hope to rebound. So once you see bouncing payroll checks, that means death is probably only days away.

cederic rodgers responded 8 years ago: #53

My job wants me to leave with knowing that they have two weeks out of me. I indicated to them that this new job wants me to start in a week so I can respectfully give you one week. My boss then goes into the story of respect and all... it's buisness nothing personal. If she thinks I'm gonna be sitting round for two weeks while doing nothing like I do now because of the way the job is set up. She's crazy. I do messenger runs two times a day. Although I don't have a degree, I have been working in my city downtown now for 16 years, and know eveyrone that walks my way. I can be recommended at all kinds of firms. So I've gotta look out for me.

Sandra responded 8 years ago: #54

I put in a one-month notice at my current employer about two-and-a-half weeks ago to accept a job at a direct competitor in the same industry. The reason I decided to look for another job is because I have waited for the past two years for a position to become available in my field of interest at my current employer. The field is so highly desired and there is such little turnover that I basically gave up after feeling that I was wasting my time waiting. Well, a job has just opened up at my current employer that I have considered to be my "dream job" for the past two years. My name "came up" as a good candidate for the position, and now they want me to interview me for it if it isn't too late. I would still love to have this position and don't really want to leave my current employer, but I've already accepted an offer in writing at the new employer. How obligated am I? I would feel horrible to have to go back on my word at the new employer, and realize that they probably would never want to hire me again. But this is a job I have waited for for years! Talk about bad timing! Should I interview and try to get my dream job at my current employer, even though I've already committed to a new one?

Judy responded 8 years ago: #55

Unfortunately, when someone gives their two week's notice, it's usually up to the company whether to allow them to work out the two weeks. This information is probably in the personnel handbook that few people keep and read. Sometimes it depends on how much power the boss has. He or she may not want the soon-to-be-ex employee hanging around for two weeks and stirring up co-workers about how they're leaving for a much better job with more money. Sometimes the boss may want you to work out your notice to train someone else for your job. I've quit jobs without notice and I always found it difficult to explain why on interviews.

Susankaveny responded 8 years ago: #56

At my last job, I had two week's vacation coming when I quit, so I took the two week's vacation and then called in to quit. I knew that I would be leaving, so I took all my tools home with me, except for a couple of things that I went back and got later. Hey, this was a company that would definitly have done something like this to me so, what the hell? I mean if you're working in Wonderland, why quit? Otherwise, I'd really recommend this approach.

Amy responded 8 years ago: #57

I am in a difficult situation. I work at a private pre-school, average size (20-30 kids per age level). I have only been working there 6 months. 2 weeks ago I had major sinus surgery. I was out for 1-1/2 weeks and came back for 3 days. I immediately got sick, a cold (kids carry every illness). I went back to the doctor this week and I have a new sinus infection. This is VERY bad for my health considering the surgery I just went under. The doctor warned that working in such a potentially "sick" environment is only going to get me sick again and again until 1-2 months when I'm fully healed from surgery. I do NOT have sick pay. I would like to resign, but don't know how. Giving two weeks notice defeats the purpose of avoiding the sick kids. But, my boss has been generally a good one and I feel guilty throwing this on her. HELP!

Judy responded 8 years ago: #58

Talk to your boss and see if she's willing to give you the recommended time off. The worst she can do is say no, in which case your only other option is to resign.

Lynne responded 8 years ago: #59

I am employed by a temp agency and was placed in a 90-day temp-to-hire job as an administrative assistant. Right after I started work, the woman who hired me quit without notice. I was in effect without a direct supervisor for a few weeks, until a replacement was hired. I worked diligently to keep my part of the office going, thinking all the while that they were surely impressed with my hard work and positive attitude. After two months, with my 90 days close to being completed, I still hadn't heard anything about being hired permanently. I asked the operations manager about it, and he said he hadn't known anything about me being made a permanent employee and he would have to talk to the company director (his boss). Two days ago, he called me into his office and said "today is your last day, we are not going to hire you, we need someone with an accounting background." I protested hotly that I was told the job was 90-day, temp-to-hire and that an accounting background wasn't necessary. He said "the person who told you that is no longer here and we're going in a different direction." I was then escorted back to my desk, told to pack up any personal belongings, and escorted to the door. I felt so humiliated, like a criminal. I was lied to, and feel that I was "sold a bill of goods." The temp agency who placed me there was shocked too, they said "we were led to believe it was temp to hire." At least they could have let me finish my 90 days, although it would have been hard under the circumstances. The point I am making, I guess, is that they didn't give ME a two-week notice. So why should employees feel compelled to give their company a two-week notice if they have been badly treated?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #60

Reading everyone's comments you find that there is more commonalities out there than what you may think.

TEMP-TO-HIRE? Many places are bringing in people this way and some are legit and some just do that so they do not have to ever pay benefits in lower-paying jobs.

Think about it. Why pay someone as an employee with benefits if you can "rotate" people in and out and say benefits come after 90-days or even 180 days.

Some of the temp agencies know this as well. In your case, Lynee, maybe they thought it was going to become a full-time position but in MANY cases - the temp agency knows they are just filling a "temp" job and it will NEVER become anything more than that.

Some will be upfront with you and some won't. Don't be afraid to ask questions upfront to determine how good the job's future is.

As for Lynne getting escorted to the door with no real notice - anyone reading this column thinking that not giving any notice to an employer - here is your WAKE-UP CALL.

Manhattan Gal responded 8 years ago: #61

I found this page as I was preparing to give notice from a terrible job situation. However, I have great respect for my immediate supervisor, and "felt bad" "only" giving two weeks' notice. I called my father who informed me that two weeks was generous and they didn't own me. And, when I gave notice, was thanked several times for my "generosity" in giving them two weeks. They are in a bad patch in that I have specific expertise that no one else in my company has, and 12+ years experience in the field cannot be replaced by a junior that quickly.

So for those of you who think that two weeks is not enough, think again. It is. The one time I gave a month (I know, I was insane - and people were trying to convince me to give them SIX WEEKS notice!) it was miserable. As it is, it will be difficult to play out the two weeks. I am experiencing what others have mentioned - people stopping by my desk, rumors flying.

Lynne responded 8 years ago: #62

Manhattan Gal, good luck with sticking it out for 2 weeks and you did the right thing not to give them more than that. You are so lucky they did not tell you to leave immediately, as has happened to some on this blog. After I left a long-time job last year, I heard that I was verbally bashed for weeks in absentia - anytime something couldn't be located, missing files, spreadsheets not updated, it was "Lynne did a terrible job with this" or "Lynne couldn't prioritize her workload." There were also rumors that I had been asked to resign, or that I had resigned to avoid being fired since I quit without notice. Good luck!

anonymous responded 8 years ago: #63

I just quit my job without two weeks notice. I feel really bad about it, because it's the first time I've ever done such a thing. I started at this job about three and a half years ago, working retail. Normal work week is 55 to 60 hours. The pay was much better than anyone else was offering. At first, I didn't get treated very good, including not getting benefits I was promised. Then, after awhile I decided to move to another town to find work. I gave about two-month's notice. Things didn't work out in the other town, so I came back to my employer after a couple months of being away. He hired me back. I was treated much better this time, although I still didn't have health insurance - it wasn't a big issue. I had been taking classes online for a bachelor's degree in computer science. With working 55 to 60 hours a week and taking classes, it got to be too much. My grades were dropping and I was exhausted. I called in to my job and told them I wasn't coming back. I not only feel bad about it, but I worry that a bad reference from this employer will cost me a good job when I graduate in several months. There is no HR department, and the boss is the vindictive type. I'm sure he'll have more bad things to say about me than good. I think I really messed up, but I felt trapped. Has anyone else had this happen? Did I mess up my chances at getting a good job after graduation?

shankar responded 8 years ago: #64

I have a contract with my employer for 1 month but I gave him 2 week notice that I am leaving. He told me that I have to face lot of complications for this. Could you please suggest me how to go from here? Thanks in advance.

Swyck responded 8 years ago: #65

I think this decision has to depend on each specific circumstance. There is no one size fits all.

Some of the posts here are from people fleeing bad situations. If things are that bad then sure get out, the sooner the better, but I think otherwise you should look closely at the decision. Not all job situations are unbearable intolerable sweatshops.

I've been with my company for years. I've received a good offer and I'm giving notice tomorrow. Sure, they could show me the door due to my high level security clearance, but if so I'll deal with it. I don't expect that to happen, even though security is very tight, since I know they don't want me to go and there's work that needs doing.

The job I got was with an old boss, who knows my current boss. No way I'd have gotten that if I was a known bridge burner. In my field I've seen the same faces recycling over and over at different places. I've given references for old colleagues and I wouldn't do so for anyone who just walked on us. If it's not that tight a community, or you don't care about the references then it doesn't matter so much, but I think keeping a good network going is important if you're a professional.

Of course its been a long time since I've actually had a lousy or abusive boss. Such bosses don't deserve much consideration, and I wouldn't blame anyone for just walking. However in all cases review the situation and weigh the pluses and minuses.

Don't not give notice just because you don't feel like it or you think the evil corporations don't deserve it. That's a weak rationale.

Jaye responded 8 years ago: #66

I would advise anyone to think VERY carefully before quitting without notice. Over a year ago I allowed a vengeful co-worker to run me off a job I'd held for nearly 18 years. I wish so much now that I'd stayed and fought. I was advised by friends not to quit without notice, to think it over, to consider how it would affect my future, but all I wanted to do was get away from this co-worker. I wish now I'd found the inner strength and courage to stay with that job until I found another one with comparable benefits. I had good health insurance and vested retirement and I threw it all away. I have been urged to reapply at my old company now that some time has passed, but since I quit without notice, I seriously doubt they would hire me again. I've had several interviews & temp jobs but nothing permanent. So all of you, please please learn from my experience.

J. Paycheck responded 8 years ago: #67

>James Carlini:

>This is happening at all different companies and at all levels. Some of it is legitimate from a security standpoint to get people off systems immediately but BE AWARE of that.

This seems like a rather bogus rationale, except in the case where someone is giving notice in a huff. If a person was going to commit sabotage, why would they wait until after having given two-weeks notice? Now if the company decides to turn a departing worker into a disgruntled departing woker, that would be different.

Ann Marie responded 8 years ago: #68

I have been in the workforce for over 25 years. I get bored easily and have changed jobs numerous times. I finally decided to go to college and get a degree so that I could get a better paying job and support my son (I was single at the time). Since I graduated 8 years ago, I have not worked in my field (geology) but instead have concentrated on my family and my home, working at a good paying but unsatisfying job (real estate). I have a good relationship with my employer, have worked hard and been rewarded. I'm just not doing what I want.

Recently I was offered a job with an environmental company and I jumped at the opportunity. I just found out that they will make an offer any day. As soon as I receive a formal offer, I will give my current employer two options: 1) I will offer 2 weeks notice, if they feel it is necessary to tie up some loose ends, but 2) I will let them know that I am prepared to leave the same day and immediately start work for my new employer. I will leave the decision to my employer, and whatever happens, leave with no regrets.

I feel lucky that I am able to do this, considering my past history with bad employers. The main thing I would like to stress is that I was patient. I kept my poker face at work. I discussed various scenarios with my husband and had a negotiation plan. Most of all, I kept my cool, whereas in the past I have often made mistakes under emotional duress.

Like it is said, everything happens for a reason, and you should always be prepared to take an opportunity when it is presented. One door closes, another door opens. I'm walking.

Moo responded 8 years ago: #69

I gave my boss a heads-up that I was engaged and everyone knew my fiance was moving out of state to start his residency... So I was told I needed to write a letter with SIX MONTHS notice. What!? Luckily, my house sold before the letter was "due," and I put in 6 weeks instead. I am being treated like the bad guy, here, even after 6 weeks. I should not have worn my ring to work, I guess!

Be careful! Watch out for yourself and make sure you don't put yourself in a vulnerable position.

JV responded 8 years ago: #70

I am starting a new job in a week. No one at my current place knows this. It is in my contract that I need to give notice. Am I ? Nope. Screw them or be screwed. I may even sell company secrets on the side.

Sara responded 8 years ago: #71

My company has it written in the policy guide that two weeks notice is appreciated, however, the company may decide to pay out the two weeks salary and ask the resigning employee to leave immediately. You can bet I am turning a two week notice letter... I know my boss will ask me to leave immediately, and the company will have to pay me for those two weeks! :D

Jill responded 8 years ago: #72

One thing to consider also is that if you were employed by the state, your employee records may be open to the public. At the state university where I worked, anyone could come to the HR office and request copies of your records, including your performance evaluations. Probably a potential employer would not know that but you never know.

2 weeks = 14 days!!! responded 8 years ago: #73


I gave my two-week notice on May 21st and thought that June 3rd would be considered the 14th day of the 2 weeks. I was with them for almost four years and was even asked what it would take to keep me. I feel I did them a favor by giving two week's notice since a lot of people I've talked with feel 1 week is workable. Well, they are stating that my last day of work should have been June 4 and I didn't show up for work, so they don't have to pay me my vacation and personal time.
Someone out there, please help!

Stuckbelowminwage responded 8 years ago: #74

I just told my boss that I would be leaving the job in four days due to personal reasons. Being that I took this job in the beginning because I was in dire need of a job in a foriegn country (China), the "contract" perfectly fit my time in that country, and it was in an area that I thought could aid other study-abroad students, and writing up information, I took the job. After doing the math, the pay was technically less than min. wage in the States, but definitely higher than a normal Chinese person. But along with that, this contract was verbalized, never written, and finally I realized I was running into legal boundaries since I was hired as a writer/editor for 2 months for the website, yet asked to work a 9-6 job. Fine. But no overtime pay, and all the Chinese people never leave at 6. Oh yes, if we leave half day for personal reasons, it gets docked off our pay. So its subtraction, never any addition.

My boss happened to be a stressed out, workaholic practically everyday, and that's just an understatement. I have pretty strong moral ethics and human rights to feel bad that her bad temper directly affects the Chinese workers through words of unnecessary insult that can easily be avoided if she simply held her tongue.

Anyways, after I told her that I was quitting and would have put in exactly 1 month's time by the date I would quit, she said how since I didn't give the full 2 weeks notice, it would be probably taken off my pay. So 10 days minus the 4 days notice I give. Furthermore, she claimed that any company would do this with the lack of notice, read the company handbook (which I did not receive). Nor did I sign any contract, or anything at all that states if I resign early without 2 weeks notice, I will be penalized. By now I am ready to just not fight it since I have a feeling that amount of 6 days is probably is the same if I went back home to waitress for a day or 2 (that's literally how bad the wage is, but it's China). So I'm just wondering what other legal standpoint she has against me that she may pull. Seriously, it's quite sad it all comes down to money and plenty of headaches and unhappiness for the past month.

Jill responded 8 years ago: #75

To: "2 wks. - 14 days"

Go to the HR director of this company and state your case. Put it in writing.

Erin responded 8 years ago: #76

I put in my "2 weeks" this past Monday, but my employer is on vacation this week and won't be back until next Monday. I left the letter of resignation on his desk and left him a message on his cell on Tuesday. I haven't heard back in response to my message and am doubting he received it at all. Everyone is telling me to call him again, but I don't feel that it's my job to contact him repeatedly to let him know that I'm leaving. I have worked at this small company for six years and have been "used." I wish I could afford to just quit, but I need next the week's pay. I love all the comments, especially since so many of us peon employees have been screwed over.

anonymous responded 8 years ago: #77

Whether you have given a 2 week notice or quit without notice, try your best to get a letter of reference from your boss BEFORE you leave. I know this may not be possible, especially if you quit without notice, your boss may laugh you out of his/her office. But try to get that letter, you never know when you'll need it. Even if you are leaving because you found another job, you may end up leaving that job at some point. Asking for a letter of reference months or years after you've left is professional suicide. It happened to me. I quit "Job A" without notice to accept another position "Job B". I knew I wouldn't last long with Job B (it was a call center job with a weekly quota) but I had applications in all over the place, and hoped something would open up before I was let go for not meeting my quota. The stress of Job B was so great that I quit after a couple of months. I emailed my boss from Job A to ask for a letter of reference. He took his time about sending it. What he did was take my written job description and insert my name in every other sentence. It was flat, lifeless, and didn't begin to mention all the tasks and projects I'd accomplished. It was also full of grammatical errors and typos. I know I was lucky to get anything at all from him, but I will never show that letter to a prospective employer.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #78

Just as employers want certain guarantees, employees should get certain guarantees. A mutual written 30-day notice that is signed and mutually agreed to is one thing. A one-sided "Thou shall give the company a 30-day notice" policy is for companies in Fantasyland.

If you treat employees well, they will provide notice. IF you treat employees bad, there is absolutely NO reason to expect someone to give notice.

What is a VERY interesting phenomenon is that many of the foreign labor that is coming here do not adhere to what is "customary."

Two-week notices?? I know of several instances at a major bank where they have quit on the spot without any notice to go to a firm paying a little more money and they think nothing of it.

So if it is not expected of cheaper foreign workers, why should employers expect that from anyone else? Customary? That went out with the advent of outsourcing and foreign work visas.

Mike responded 7 years ago: #79

I'm not the type to post comments anywhere, I'm usually just one who likes to read, but after taking in all these stories, I'm very thankful I stumbled upon this article. I've been with a company for three years, transferring three times, each time voluntarily. This past year was incredibly enjoyable and I really started to respect and love and be proud of the company I worked for and loved my teammates and leaders to death. However, after transferring to another state, it's like I'm working for a completely different company. I do not respect any of my peers or leaders (if you can call them that), and I am in an environment that is just overall very uncomfortable to be in.

Why should I give them notice when I've seen them not give notice to some of my former peers? Plus, I'm not worried about a reference; I have my old boss from the state I transferred from. We had a long conversation last week about how bad things are in my new area, and he gave his full support for me doing what I need to do and is willing to do anything to help me get another job. This man is very respected, much more over my current boss. It looks like there's about a 99 percent chance I'm going to be made an offer this week for a dream job. As much as I want to tell my boss goodbye right now, I'm playing it safe and waiting, but after reading this, believe me, the moment I fid out the job is a-go, I'm out.

Marv responded 7 years ago: #80

Here's my situation, and I would love input. I am the employer - small business owner. I was given a two-week notice by a sales person who makes a weekly salary, and I extend many additional perks to this person weekly. Lunch on Friday, cash bonuses, etc.

I was always under the impression that the two-week notice was a courtesy to the employer, and since I would not be replacing this person, I would not need them to fulfill their two-week commitment.

Additionally, I was told about a week ago that they were needing a couple days off - which falls within this two-week time frame. I feel I am very reasonable and gracious, and when realizing this puts them in a bind, I was willing to pay them for one week, which included their two-day vacation (off to a wedding).

I am now being called unprofessional. What is the employers responsibility? My employees feel that the two-week notice is to make their transition good for them, and although it is much appreciated that they gave the notice, wouldn't you agree that if you are giving notice that you have quit, and it's a courtesy that you should prepare to be let go that moment?

chris responded 7 years ago: #81

I have been working for the same company for 10 years and I am ready to move on for various reasons. If I give a two week's notice and they let me go immediately. Do I have any recourse? Would that be considered a firing? If i do not resign effective immediately, I have to consider this a firing? Right?

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #82


It is common for a company to say thank you for your service and escort you out the door THAT DAY. I can safely say that they owe you your vacation pay but don't hold your breath for another 2 week's pay.

And I do not think they would consider it a firing as you are offering to leave. NOWHERE does it state that a company has to honor giving you two weeks pay because you are giving them two weeks. They have every right to say thanks and escort you to the door that day. (AND NO PAY except squaring up with your vacation pay whatever you have accrued to that point)

NOW, do some of you start to see how one-sided that two-week's notice consideration is?

disgruntled girl responded 7 years ago: #83

I also fought with the idea of either giving a two-week notice, or just e-mailing them the last day I intended to work. Boy did I get a surprise when I resigned 7/17, received a paycheck for 7/1-7/14 on 7/19, which was removed without authorization from my checking account on 7/23. It caused overdraft fees, among a significant amount of stress. I now see why trying to do the right thing blows up in your face!! Next time, I will quit the day I walk out the door. I also am now hesitant to ever do a direct deposit with a company again. Since when does a company have the right to go take money out of their employees accounts when they feel justified?

Ms. Sherri responded 7 years ago: #84

I just recently resigned from my job and gave a two-day notice. I was starting to worry what this would be like to other companies but after finding James' articles through a Google search, I feel much better.

I was nervous about telling my former company that I wouldn't be staying two more weeks. I made sure to tell everyone that it wasn't personal and that I was leaving to better myself (going to graduate school). And while I have no intention of ever going back to that highly stressful job, I stated that when I was finished with my degree, should they have a need for my area, I would be willing to return. After saying this, I immediately asked for letters of reccommendation from a couple of superiors. My request was met with enthusiasm and no reservations. I feel as though there is 'no looking back' for me with that job. After reading all this discussion, I have no guilt for how I handled my departure so, thank you!

Reecey responded 7 years ago: #85

If it takes someone more than 2 weeks to be replaced, its time to look at WHY they're leaving. Probably because you're not compensating them properly for the job they do. If you can't find someone willing to step into their position for what you're offering them, why on Earth should they want to stay for what they're currently receiving. If you're losing a great employee - do what you can to get them to stay. Find out what they're lacking and make it worth their while to stay.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #86


Some very great observations. So simple but how many people in supervisory positions "just don't get it?"

On Yahoo today they have the same "leave on good terms" article. Unfortunately, the author states when leaving and going to the exit interview, the general rule is - "If you don't have anything nice to say - lie." Can you believe that??????

How are supposed to make better decisions, especially at the managerial level, if they do not know that the supervisor is totally incomplete? That is a PROBLEM at many companies - they have not let go of managers who cannot lead people.

And if you do not say anything, how can they make positive changes? More politically correct advice when you should be politically accurate.

strong responded 7 years ago: #87

I plan on resigning tomorrow and I plan on walking in and immediately walking out. If you value yourself as a person, then you must stand up for yourself. Of course, it might feel as though your up against the giant, but it is fundamental that you do unto others as they have done unto you. I am not going to play the victim when I know that I have the right, and the freedom to live my life the way I choose to. Reading all these posts has given me the inner will to do what is right, give myself more credit for what I am worth!

PRanz responded 7 years ago: #88

Is a 90-day notice for an executive position enforceable? When I was promoted to this position, my offer letter stated that I would agree to at least 90 days notice prior to leaving. I was told the position and the promotion were not going to happen unless I agreed to this. There is no consideration for giving 90 days, i.e., there is no bonus if I give the full 90 days. Is it enforceable? And what if I resign with less than a 90-day notice?

Gina responded 7 years ago: #89

I worked for over a year in an office. I gave my two-week notice recently. I was responsible for lowering Accts Receivable days and greatly improved the company's cash flow. They would tell myself and others what a good job I did. I became increasingly unhappy because of how I was "put in my place" once I confronted my two supervisor's with how services were billed incorrectly (and fraudulantly). I decided to stay until a position that I knew about would be available. My boss' demeanor changed immediately when giving notice. The next day my replacement was brought in and was rude to me from the beginning and didn't seem to want my help. I even think that the replacement was encouraged to do that. I continued producing the quality of work that I normally do. I gave a copy of mistakes the replacement was making to one supervisor. At the end of that workday, the same supervisor told me that he needed to have a meeting with me. I felt termination was coming and was told that "today is your last day." They suspect that I'm going to work with a competitor, and I feel that they were spiteful. To make matters worse, they proclaim to run the business as family, God, employer "in that order." I tried to do things "the right way," but that didn't work. Even knowing that I have just been terminated, I feel that I took the high road, although not an easy one and I'm having mixed emotions about giving/not giving notice. I found out today that another employee who also sees the owner and mgmt. for what they are resigned today without notice and told them that leaving was going to be when he wanted it to be, not them....gotta love it!

Jane responded 7 years ago: #90

Over the summer I have been working for a temp agency. A couple of months ago I did not enjoy the assignment I was sent out on, so I very politely said that I was interest in pursuing a different field, and could they possibly find me another company. The agency weaseled me into agreeing to stay with the company. A hour later I received a call telling me I didn't need to return to the company, the agency had talked to them and they didn't want me anymore. I respect their decision, since the benefit of temp work is being able to quit at any time. I have now found a great permanent job, so I called the agency and told them I was leaving, but they kept saying that they want two weeks notice, and that it's not enough time for them to find me a replacement. Isn't the whole point of a temp agency that you can quit your job at the drop of a hat? I'm now trying to schedule my new job and temp job for two weeks, and it's getting ridiculous.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #91


I would consult an attorney on all the specifics of that offer letter. If you walk, is there ANY extra compensation forfeited? Like a bonus, stock options, etc.?

You took the promotion and raise. You owe them the 90 days.
Again, are there any other dollars tied into staying the full 90 days? Are you leaving out anything???

AND what do you forfeit? Any re-imbursement for training that they sent you to?? Be careful AND be professional.

You got the deal based on agreeing to 90-days and that was in an offer letter. You cashed the extra money based on what you agreed to in the offer letter. That is more formal than the "traditional" give two weeks notice.

Barb responded 7 years ago: #92

I had been working at a Rock Quarry. I loved it at first. All of the drivers were so fun. There was a big company that came in that was doing work on our city streets. This complany had seven trucks that were constantly coming in and getting different rock. One time when the Pres. and the General Manager were not in the office, it was noticed that two of the drivers were making it look like their trucks didn't have rock on them. I went through different people of the city and finally talked to the owner of this trucking outfit. He came in looked at records and realized that these two drivers did haul the rock to some other place, but the bill was still for the company. This got out in our paper, mentioning the company that the rock was hauled from. A few days later I was called in the office and literally scolded for reporting this theft. It was harmful to the Quarry. HELLO! Since that time my job was a living hell. I was not trusted, I could not do certain things I usually did and the inconsideration was getting worse. I was told on one occasion, that "I was not being paid to think." On another -"I was not being paid to make executive decisions" for locking a door when I was the only one on the property (to help out). There were other times I was either humiliated or embarrassed. I had had enough so when my 2 weeks of unpaid vacation was over, I called and told them I wouldn't be returning. The President called and left a recording saying it will be "bad Karma" for me. What's that? Other people have bad words about this company so I'm in hopes that if I do apply for another job, that they won't take my quitting in the wrong way. Sorry to say, I have quit many jobs because it seems the managers don't like me. I don't steal, lie, or cheat. I am punctual, and I do work hard.

Diana responded 7 years ago: #93

I am reading everyone's comments on not giving or providing an employer two week's notice. Recently, I worked for a company for 2.5 years, received a 10 percent raise both years I worked there. I gave my notice and was walked out one hour later. I received none of my vacation time pay or pay for the two weeks. Luckily, I was able to start the new job early and only missed one week of pay. I don't think this is right. If the handbook requests a two-week notice, then you should be able to finish your notice or receive compensation for the time missed. The saddest part is I will never provide notice again unless I want a vacation prior to starting a new job.

Steve responded 7 years ago: #94

I have worked in HR for the better part of the last two decades and have myself struggled whether to give notice. After reading most of these posts, I would say that these are for the most part the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, employers do not want bad feelings among former employees, mainly because former employees often talk to current employees. It is simply not in anybody's best interest to create animoisty. That being said, it does happen and people do get shafted.

The best advise I can say is to be aware before you give notice. How have other employees been treated? Are policies written involving extension of benefits? If you immediately get let go, will you get paid for the two weeks? Whether or not you give two weeks or not, the most important thing is to know what questions you want resolved and have them resolved, in writing, before your last day, that day or in the future.

Finally, when employers let you go immediately after giving your notice, it is not a personal decision, it is strictly self preservation! Most commonly, if you are going to work for a competitor, refuse to disclose your future employer (which you have every right to do), are in the IT field, in a high tech/research field, or are privy to sensitive or classified information, you will most likely be let go the day you give notice. Most firms will pay you full for those two weeks, but are under no right to do so.

Personally, I ALWAYS give notice. Yes, ALWAYS. It is a sign of good faith, and most employers will treat it as such. My last position, I gave notice, was immediately let go, and went on my way. No hard feelings, just business.

So be prepared, be knowledgable, and be armed with information any time you decide to leave your job.

Robert responded 7 years ago: #95

That contract that requires one to stay during a project, otherwise they can give 2 weeks notice is a crock. If they want this of you, then they should pay you for it. What companies want is maximum labor for minimum pay.

What really gets me is when upper executives can quit or get fired at anytime and still get a pension and stock bonuses. Our corporate world is almost psychopathic!

Check out this book written by a clinical psychologist who studied psychopaths and noticed that they tend to rise to the top of business, politics, etc. Makes sense, when someone lacks a conscience!
Political Ponerology

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #96

As an HR professional, please read what you just wrote.

After receiving over 250 responses on two articles - that are not even in the Mainstream Press - I do not think that this is the exception and not the rule.

There is an epidemic of people that have been "shafted," as you put it, and it's time that "customary practices" that were ceased on one side for "self preservation" as you call it be matched by new practices by individuals.

Good faith??? How many people were let go immediately after trying to "do the right thing?" How many were cheated out of bonuses after trying to "do the right thing"? How many were cheated out of vacation pay after trying to "do the right thing?" Wake up, Steve. It's a balance - no good faith on one side, why in the world should there be good faith on the other? Put it into a contract - mutually agreed to and signed. Otherwise...

Leaving immediately should be looked at from the employer's perspective, just as you put it - No hard feelings, just business.

Al responded 7 years ago: #97

Found my jobs was just getting deeper and deeper in work, the more I did the more I had to do. Workers came and went. While I trained them, the boss
would bash them and out the door they went. Which in turn lead to more work, so I turned in my two week notice and then was told I was fired after two days.

I think they are all nuts. Sometimes you just have to hang in there and know it will all work out in the end.

Ethel Evans responded 7 years ago: #98

Just wanted to post a (semi) opposing opinion: When you do work for a good company, being courteous can pay off. I work as a contractor at MS (employed by a contracting agency), and have had to quit two contracts there. The first was due to a difficult pregnancy that left me temporarly disabled months before delivery, and I worked hand-in-hand with my manager to make a smooth transition, including giving as much notice as possible. The second time I quit due to getting a full-time position - with the group I had worked with during the previous contract. I let my manager know I was looking for work, know when I signed, and just gave my two weeks notice. I have been treated very courteously again.

I probably wouldn't have received the job I did if I hadn't given adequate notice before. My point is that there are definitely situations where giving two weeks notice may help to preserve a relationship that can help your career. Of course, that is only true if there is a real (two-way) relationship there to preserve.

On the other hand, I think my sister did the right thing by just quitting ASAP at her old job. They were the "sack first, deal with upset employees later" type, and had demonstrated their ill will when she took maternity leave two years before in an attempt to force her out of her job while pregnant (her and another pregnant woman - not a coincidence).

TheTeller responded 7 years ago: #99

Well I was one of those Ameritech Employees who got canned when SBC came through Chicago and did a hostile takeover. I was a member of the backbone keeping the alive. So I never got called in and just sent home. However, I saw it and it forever changed my view I worked for a great company in Oakbrook Ill., for 5 years and since then I contract. I don't even give resignation letters. I give them the same thing they give others. I say please send my last paycheck to the following address; you need to get a new contactor for the next days date. Nobody cares out there anymore. It's sad but it's a freaking mess. Loyalty is a laugh. When I started at Ameritech, I was thrilled. I thought I would be there until I retired - that's what I had been told. Also, this idea of people saying you need to not burn bridges and ensure a clean network. Here is my answer. If I burn a bridge, I assure you that I will never go down that bridge again for a damned good reason. In today's market, there are ways, too many ways, to go to many circles and even those cicles are tainted. Since Sarbanes-Oxley, you will rarely see CIOs stay more than a couple years. They want accountability.


Jordan responded 7 years ago: #100

My job requires a two-week notice upon leaving, but I honestly do not want to work there another second. They gave my last check to an employee who has the same first name as me, she got hold of all of my personal information (isn't that illegal?) and the manager who gave it to her is an insipid human being. My boss has been rude to me since the beginning and is even rude to my mother. I really just can't stand this job and I will quit as soon as someone helps me sort out the legality of my problem and I can get back to my life.

Miranda responded 7 years ago: #101

Thank you so much for this website. I'm going through more than a little stress right now because it's looking extremely likely I'll be giving my work only three days notice tomorrow before quitting, right before Thanksgiving when they need the help the most. I feel terribly guilty about leaving them when I feel like they really need me, but at the same time, I feel as if they've (inadvertently, one would hope) been taking advantage of me.

Well over a month ago now, I requested to go down to part-time hours, because I'm a student and I do not want to be working full-time when I need to be studying to get ready for college again. Also, since I have a sleeping disorder and they constantly have me closing at 12:30am, I requested that I not be scheduled before noon (since I currently get to sleep around 6am, and it takes either several days of careful manipulation of my sleep schedule or one day of hysteria and sickness to change it dramatically). I was prepared to give my two week's notice then if I couldn't go down to part-time hours, but they told me "hey, it's okay, we'll get you what you need- just give us a week or two to hire someone else, okay?"

I was perfectly fine with it. It took a week longer than they'd promised to get to part-time hours, but I was on cloud nine when they did. Especially given that between point A of me requesting 20-30 hours a week and point B of me actually getting it, I physically collapsed at work from what my doctor stated was stress and sleep deprivation. I'd been shaking and light-headed every day I came to work after that, but after that first week of part-time, I'd finally gotten recovered to normal.

Then, I find that they'd scheduled me for full-time hours. A bit miffed, I went to talk it over with my manager, who explained that we were still short-handed and they needed me. Well, okay, I could do another week of full-time, and I agreed. That was this past week that I've worked, and I figured it was behind me and I could get on with it, right?

No. Because apparently, they now need me to work every day leading up to Thanksgiving (knowing that these days have the highest traffic), they still need to schedule me for more than 30 hours on a week where almost every other of my co-workers gets less than that, and oh- they need me to get up at 8 am on Thanksgiving Day, even though they know I don't get to sleep until 6 am, and work a full day then too.

I tried talking to the staff manager about it two days ago. It was busy, he said he'd get to me when it wasn't busy, then promptly left work without talking to me. I tried talking to the night manager, but she couldn't handle scheduling, so I'd have to talk to another manager the next day. I talked to that manager today, but SHE can't handle this sort of scheduling, and by the way don't I know that it's a holiday and I'm not allowed to have "special request" scheduling on holidays? So I have to talk to the guy that had forgotten about me when I first tried to address the problem, because absolutely no one else in the store can help me.

I like the people I work with. I like the managers I work under. But I'm furious that my needs cannot be met, and even though I hate to leave at a time when I could really help out and especially with so little notice, I am not willing to put my health on the line so that they can ignore the agreements we had on the hours I would work.

Okay, rant over. Thanks again. :)

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #102

A NEW updated article was just written.

More people are seeing the light.

Jake Thoms responded 7 years ago: #103

My company has a policy in writing that if you give notice the company will have have the right to terminate sooner. I'm in CA which is at "at-will" employment state. I'm a upper middle manager. What about 0 days notice and offer to consult if they still want you around for transition work?

Mannar responded 7 years ago: #104


Thanks for the wonderful service. I have at will employment and my employer can terminate me any time. When I joined I had to give 1 month notice. I was promoted last year and I was forced to sign a contract after sometime asking me to give 3 months notice when I resign. But the promotion did not offer any money or raise. This year my bonus was even less than what I had in my previous position.

If I have to resign am I bound to give 3 months notice. Is it not a single sided agreement. they can terminate me any time without any notice. It is very difficult get an another position if I have to wait for 3 months.

I would appreciate your feed back on this.



AMuse responded 7 years ago: #105

I have been employed for two years and 5 months in my current position. About a year ago I was offered a position in another office close to home unexpectedly, through someone I know.. I travel a distance, so this was very tempting to me. I went to the interview, and they offered me more money, more vacation, more holiday time.. etc. I confronted my employer,(just so happened to be right after he had given me a bonus), and told him I was giving him my two weeks notice, and I handed him my resignation. He of course counteroffered a few days later. I have always read and heard, NEVER accept a counteroffer, no matter how tempting is is. It will always bite you later. Well, he offered me more money, a week extra vacation, which would give me 2 weeks paid vacation, and 4 days of holiday pay, which I could use any way I would like. (the other office was closed ten holidays, we were closed six, so he was trying to make up for the 4 days). So, basically that would give me 3 weeks vacation, since we are open Mon through Thurs. 4 day work week.. So, He takes off a week in April, week in August and a week Xmas break, so it was perfect for me. However, it was a verbal agreement. But in the state of NY, a verbal is just as good as a written. He tried to tell me that it is accrued time, and that I only have 4 hours left (it is my Xmas break at the moment) and that I no longer have any time left to use. He never said anything about accruing time.. He said flat out. Two weeks, and 4 days to use whenever I wanted. Now he is rescinding on the deal. I tried to contact him, and he is ignoring me, and I am supposed to go back to work in Wed. after New Years. I cannot stand confrontations. And I have to see patients that day. I am not sure if he will go ahead and pay me for the time, or if he will say, no way. It is all up in the air at this point, and for the entire break, I have been a wreck. Counteroffers do not worth it the long run, and always get things in writing. It is not worth the stress. Two weeks notice~ I don't know. I really don't want to burn bridges. I need a good reference. He is the one that did this, not me. It isn't fair when the employer is the one that ruins it for the employee..

Ann responded 7 years ago: #106

I am about to give notice. I have been working for 4 years at my present position which I really enjoy. But I have been offered a great opportunity which I just can't pass up. I am in the IT department.

I was going to give my notice Wed. morning as it's a four-day weekend and I had last week off. This would mean I am only giving 1.5 weeks notice then taking a week off between jobs - they owe me the vacation time.

Now I am wondering if that is foolish? I am on good terms and get along well with my supervisor. But I am IT and have access to all their systems. I don't want to be stuck with not getting 3 weeks pay if they simply walk me to the door?

What should I do?

Jen Knud responded 7 years ago: #107

I have worked for my employer for six years as a bookkeeper and have always been viewed as a valuable employee, receiving raises, annual bonuses and commendation for work well done. I accepted a new employment offer and gave my notice of two weeks to my employer thinking that I was being courteous and doing the professional thing. However, my boss completely flipped out and got so angry with me. He says I am leaving the company in a lurch with only two weeks notice. The CFO of the firm left six months ago and gave three weeks notice which my boss brought up and said they left the company in a lurch too. My boss told me flat out that I would not be receiving a recommendation in the future since I was only giving two weeks notice. When I offered to be available by phone & email to assist with any questions after I left, I also offered to continue some of my work in the evenings for a time if it would help. My boss simply replied "you are leaving us short and you know it!" I feel terrible, but feel I did the right thing and gave plenty of notice for my position. Did I do something wrong? My boss refuses to give me a recommendation simply because of this fact.

Sean Roberson responded 7 years ago: #108

In response to Jen: I don't see that you did anything wrong. Your previous boss got upset with you for giving two weeks notice as well as flew off the handle about the CFO giving three. Looks like from where I'm sitting that your ex boss is the common denominator of the problem. You left appropriately for the appropriate reasons so sleep easy at night:)

Micah responded 7 years ago: #109

I am quitting my job next week as I have been offered a much better position and I want to thank James and everyone that commented for the advice that gave me the confidence to not give a two week notice and to not be intimidated by my employer. Good luck everyone and happy quitting.


mike responded 7 years ago: #110

After almost two decades at a job i loved, i was laid-off on a Friday, about a week after Thanksgiving.
My employer said they were cutting my particular division to save money.
Later, i found out that 6 others had also been laid-off - two others in my division, the rest from the main office.

The following Monday, one of my former co-workers found an ad online placed by OUR FORMER EMPLOYER, saying they were looking for people to do THE SAME JOBS that were held by us 7 just days before!!!!!!!!

On top of that, it took almost 60 days to get my severance check - only now, my bank (wells fargo), has placed a HOLD on that check (they say, due to it's unusual size), and that only HALF of it will be available in another week. The OTHER few thousand or so dollars will take ANOTHER week to clear.

i'm leaving Wells Fargo soon as i get my money.

stephanie responded 7 years ago: #111

I have recently decided to quit my job as a teacher. I have decided to not give two weeks notice. I was raised to always, always give two weeks notice. As others have said on this blog, it is a measure of good faith - especially, if your boss has been good to you. However, sometimes we find ourselves in a very bad system that is full of nice people. Noone at my school - the teachers nor the adminstrators have security in a system that is ruled by test scores. Our jobs are constantly threatened, we are extremely overworked, and the joy of our student's potential is replaced by the stress of 35 bodies in one room or reports for the state about test scores. Sometimes even the hardest workers have just been sucked dry of our "good faith." I feel like physically I do not even have two weeks left in me. I've decided that if I can just begin to sleep, again - you know, one full night's sleep without waking up at 3 a.m. and worrying about my job...then the loss of a good reference will be more than worth it.

emily responded 7 years ago: #112

i have been one of those people also who wonders about givnig a 2 week notice or not. i am 20 out of college and have been witha company for 9 months. the work ethic here is so bad, almost as bad as the ones in charge here! everyone seems like if they are all back in high school, gossiping to eachother even the CFO! i had it when i got sick with strepe throat and i had to call in sick on a monday and then also half a day on the next day. out of everytone who works here, i am the receptionist in the front. therefore i dont even get into anyones business or gossip. yet my boss has the nerve to scold me for being out so muuch. i have been out 2 days at the begining of the month for a chronic illness, which i had a dr's slip for the days. anyways i told myself why am i letting myself get treated like this for? its just the last straw here. i was wondering if i should give my 2 wk notice for futher ref. but as it turns out, here they only give start date and end date and title. i also feel stronger within myself to stand up for myself in this company, unlike alot of people here who just take it and complain everyday about coming to work. i know that i am just going to give my resignation letter this week and walk out that same day. they obviously dont care bout the employees here, why should i let them find a replacement for me, just soo i can be wondering if they will lower my wage and not tell me, or i can become a liability also within those 2 weeks waiting for my last day. i have taht i have helped those out there in my situatation.

Allie responded 7 years ago: #113

I love this website. I am happy I found it and now know I am not alone. I just quit my job after 6 months for a small company. I gave 2 weeks but decided not to follow through. I know that my ex boss would has shafted me or been a total meany. My position : I was a receptionist and an asst book keeper. I was going to fill in for a book keeper while she was on a 6 week vacation. He gave me raise but I had to fight him for it. Then he tells me he was cutting my hours after she came back. If he did that I would be making less then what I started. He thought this was okay. I left him without a replacement and he will be in a bind.(yeah I got some ethical slack from some people for it but he was going to screw me in the end).

Frustrated responded 7 years ago: #114

I think it is courteous to give 2-4 weeks' notice, and have always done so, but at my current (soon-to-be-former) job, I will have my things packed the day I turn in my two weeks' notice. I assume I will be asked to leave and/or scale down right away. If I had any further qualms about my employer, I would only give immediate notice, as I live in an at-will employment state.

T responded 7 years ago: #115

I was offered a position over a year and a half ago from another office, and when I went to turn in my resignation, my employer counter offered, and like a dummy, I accepted. I was not even looking for a job, it happened to be someone that had an office closer to where I live, and the offer sounded great, close to home, hours, more money.. Anyway..

Now, It seems as though things have completely changed since all of that happened- I have alwayd heard do not accept the counter offer, and it is true. Our office has been slow, so even though I make more by the hour, my hours have been cut down- so I am making less ultimately in the long run.

Now another position has sort of fell into my lap, and I am prepared to leave for good.. The cost of fuel, and the long drive has set its toll on me, not to mention my bosses changed attitude, and cutting my hours. Before when I wanted to leave, he kept on following me around, couldn't believe I accepted another position without talking to him first, blah blah blah.. The other coworkers, and there are only 3 others, also made it difficult as well. Even though I am a main component to the office, I really feel uncomfortable staying a full two weeks, thinking it is going to be stressful being there.. The new potential employer would like me to begin right away as well. Which would of course benefit me finacially.

Another thing, I was screwed out of some of my promised vacation as well with this current employer- So he is not an honest man. I have also witnessed him fire employees at the door! He literally waited at the door with the gals belongings and told her (them) not to return, for rediculous reasons..

So being human, I guess I almost feel obligated to give my notice, though I know I will be mentally dragged through the ringer for two weeks. The thing that sucks, is the employer holds the ball, they are the ones that give the references for our future. And that does not seem fair.

Kim responded 7 years ago: #116

Regarding comment #113. Allie, I'm afraid that I don't understand your point. If I understand you correctly, you were going to be filling in for a book keeper for six weeks after which point your hours would be cut back down, right? And at this time, you would have less hours than you had before you started filling in, right? And you asked for a raise and got it (that you had to "fight" him for it is no surprise since no businessman worth his salt would simply hand over more money to any employee who happened to ask for it). But what I don't get is what made you think that this guy was going to screw you in the end? Or that he would be a real meany to you during the 2 weeks of your notice? And did he give you a reason for cutting back your hours other than that the person you were filling in for would be returning? Small business are in the business of STAYING in business. That's how they make sure that the people who work for them stay employed. They don't make decisions based on one employees's demands that they give them what they want regardless of whether or not doing so makes good business since in the big picture. Running a small business is dang hard. Very few people can stomach it and even less actually make it. Have you ever considered the ramifications of your actions on this business and their ability to function? Not getting what you want is no excuse for sticking it to the small business owner who has to overcome formidable challenges every day just to stay in business, and thus provide employment for others. By the way, it is up to you to demonstrate in any job you have that you are worth the money they pay you and worth the promotions and raises that you want. You are not entitled to have a job; nobody has to hire you, much less give you raises. You have to show that you are worth it. This is how the real world is, and if you continue to take an us vs them approach, you will never get ahead. Best of luck to you.

Ashley responded 7 years ago: #117

Last Wednesday, I put in my two weeks notice from my first job out of college. I felt as if I was leaving under good terms. I had a great relationship with the VP, and I planned to help train my replacement, knowing the difficulties of my job and the fact that no one was there to help train me. Yesterday, I received a phone call that I was no longer needed at work... that I was being "let go." Can you get fired after putting in your two weeks notice? If I am fired and not paid for my two weeks, can I file for unemployment?

I am really depressed. Perhaps my view of the world at 23 was too idealistic... I don't know. I just feel as though I've been punched in the stomach... all because I decided that I didn't feel like I'd found my calling in life... Needing advice... Feeling rejected... I don't know if I'm cut out for the business world.

Ashley responded 7 years ago: #118

Last Wednesday, I put in my two weeks notice from my first job out of college. I felt as if I was leaving under good terms. I had a great relationship with the VP, and I planned to help train my replacement, knowing the difficulties of my job and the fact that no one was there to help train me. Yesterday, I received a phone call that I was no longer needed at work... that I was being "let go." Can you get fired after putting in your two weeks notice? If I am fired and not paid for my two weeks, can I file for unemployment?

I am really depressed. Perhaps my view of the world at 23 was too idealistic... I don't know. I just feel as though I've been punched in the stomach... all because I decided that I didn't feel like I'd found my calling in life... Needing advice... Feeling rejected... I don't know if I'm cut out for the business world.

Al Ibrahim responded 7 years ago: #119

Oh! Perfect job!
Very good and useful post.
Thx, your blog in my RSS reader now

James Carlini responded 7 years ago: #120


Move on. Take this as a good lesson as you pursue new employment. You did the right thing but unfortunately, you got let go - which is pretty common. There is no law that says a company must keep you after you give your two-weeks notice. File for unemployment - see what happens.

Don't be depressed. At 23, you learned a good life lesson. You are ahead of those that are 33 that never got dumped. You just added some maturity to your perspective. Good luck.

heather responded 7 years ago: #121

I put my "I'm leaving on the spot" notice in today. My boss had the nerve to give me a lecture in front of another employee and it was humiliating. So, I will not be returning. It's funny because five others have left my department and nobody has been hired to replace them. So, now they're six short.

James Carlini responded 7 years ago: #122

Lecturing you in front of others sounds like your manager needs more skills. If you gave a two-weeks notice would you have been subjected to two-weeks abuse? ALL employers, HR Consultants and HR Directors take note - when you have people leaving like this, maybe it's time to review how well the manager "manages". You lose a lot of good people because you may have some bad management clinging to the job. Get rid of the bad managers and you will have less turnover of good employees.

Kristi responded 6 years ago: #123

I was placed into a permanent position about 4 months ago, which at first seemed like the perfect fit. The first couple of weeks were very enjoyable, and I was fitting in well with the team. Shortly after, I started to worry and wonder if I had made the right decision. Let me explain...

The position I was origanlly hired for was changed the very day I started from front desk and assistant manager to simply front desk. The person hired to work above me as the assistant had absolutely no industry experience. That person didn't work out, but was kept on until a matter of days ago despite constant mistakes and incompetence.

At one point, my manager told me that since this other person wasn't working out, she was opening up the position and we talked about the possibility of me filling it. A matter of days later, my manager was introducing me as the assistant to everyone at a company and industry-wide event. Days later, she asked me into her office and told me in a school-girl tone, "Guess what? Joe Blow (someone else in the company/previous assistant) is coming back - isn't that great? I'm soooo excited!"

This is just one example of the reason why I have come to completely distrust my manager. Nothing she has ever promised - from position to scheduling, etc. - has ever been kept. I can't believe anything she says.

Add to that the fact that the office has been in chaos and disarray the whole time, Mr. Incompetent has caused so many problems and extra work that I had to do over, AND the fact that I did not recieve even half of the training I was promised... The past month has been horrible and has made me stressed out to the point of exhaustion and depression. So, I figured - no job is worth this!

When I put in my two weeks notice last week, my boss practically begged me to stay and implored that I re-think my decision. She gave me a list of options available to me, such as changing my days and/or hours and taking some time off to become "refreshed" and ready for a new start.

Somehow, I found myself actually re-thinking it and planning on negotiating terms and scheduling, so we made a plan to talk about it. Before I had a chance to speak with her, I got a call from a good friend of mine that she had been offered my position!!!! Fortunately, my friend had enough integrity to refuse the job.

OK, so here's my question... Should I even bother to confront my manager about this? She told me yesterday that if I promise to "re-committ" myself that she would "love to have me stay on her team." Then again, that could be complete b.s., too, since she had spoken with my friend earlier the same day. My last day is supposed to be mid-next week, and I'm wondering if I should finish it out or just turn in all my keys tomorrow and walk out the door!

Chris responded 6 years ago: #124

I watched as my company, a small consulting firm negotiated with me for my services, which are very much in demand. originally uncomfortable with their proposal to work as a 1099, I opted to hold my ground as a W2 employee and was offered a position. In 60 days I rescued 2 existing projects that had failed miserably, each appx 250k; the first I managed to coax another 16k in revenue out of changes to scope, the seocnd I turned back into an active engagement that resulted in a new contract for 44k. In the interim I was instrumental in closing a new piece of business that will be worth aproximately 250k over the next 6 months. (I am not in sales, btw, but it is part of my character makeup). In the interim I built a practice model that was repeatable and sustainable to allow this work to tak eplace. I made recommendaitons for the team that needed to be hired, and suggested some immediately beneficial strategies to enact the plan.

In the interim, they took the funding that I created and hired a new Director (unecessary) and then hired a separate person to do the work that I was performing. It became readily evident that instead of making a qualified candidate search for the key role that was required to support the team model and the business, they instead (very underhandedly) decided to move my role to that of an individual contributor who reports to the new employee, who reports to the new Director.

While this was all happening, I was forced, cajoled and driven to work 2 1/2 jobs - and I racked up 242 hours in 18-straight business days with no time off.

when it came time for me to take vacation, which was planned and negotiated in advance, I was told that I only accrued 6 days of vacation, not the 2 weeks I negotiated up front. I had spoken with my hiring manager - I was working extra hard to "pay forward" for time off that I had only recently found out I hadn't earned. When it came time for vacation, it was a hugely contentious series of dialogs about whether I would be given the time off paid: I had to sign a document stating that I ws "borrowing" for un-accrued vacation. No time was given to me for all of the extra days and hours I worked prior to vacation (no comp time, goodwill time, etc.).

By the time I was preparing for vacaiton, I was upset enough about my employment situation to go back into the marketplace looking for new opporutunities. While on vacation I fielded many prospects, and had gone through initial phone screens; upon returning from vacation I have interviewed in-person and have two job offers with major origanizations that are paying me in excess of 30% more, annually, with better working conditions and opportunities for advancement.

I have worked the time that I "owe" up front in the last week. I don't expect to be paid - I just want to leave with a clean slate. Undoubtedly, I believe that this company will find some means to try to hold me hostage to that scenario, but I am fully prepared.

They don't have anyone who does what I do - and even so, they couldn't be bothered to find a way to act professionally with my workload, my role, or my experience.

They dcided that I was an expensive resource on salary, and that by virtue of that condition I would not only do whatever they insisted I do, but that I would absorb all of their decisions that were detrimental to my career and my personal well-being. I look back on this and see that I was justified in my initial assessment, and that most importantly, they've lost a key asset in my employment. Ironically, they did it to themselves and probably don't even understand that.

Do I feel badly about walking in today and quitting on the spot?

Not one bit.

Trust me, if your employer thought for one minute that they would benefit from walking you out the front door right now, they would, and they wouldn't look back.

2-week's notice is no longer applicable, and company's have themselves to blame for the conditions that have lead up to this as a paradigm shift. When everyone is treated as disposable assets, it's no wonder. Employees are only responding in kind. The "trauma" and dissention that we're reading about is only the leftovers of a sociology condition that has yet to disappear. In another generation people will laugh and say "yeah, and to think they used to give 2-week's notice".

'nuff said.

Nanette responded 6 years ago: #125

It's a lot easier to quit without notice. You miss two weeks of awkwardness. But it's cowardly to just walk out and leave a mess behind you. You told them you would be there to do this job and they are depending on you to do it. If you tell them you are leaving, it's like you are going back on your word. Even if the corporation thinks nothing of going back on their word, if you're an honorable person you will want your word to mean something.

If, on the other hand, you give notice and they hustle you out the door, they probably didn't like you very much and were on the verge of firing you anyway.

James Carlini responded 6 years ago: #126

No one ever said to walk out and leave a mess. In fact, my advice to one person leaving was to get everything in order to turn over before she left (she gave a one-day notice and never regretted it.)

Most companies will hustle you out the door for fear of liabilities - you have access to critical customer information, computer systems, and other corporate info. It's better and more expedient to say thank you and good-bye that day.

And don't think you are going to get the two-weeks more pay just because you wrote a two-week notice resignation letter. You give them two-weeks - they make it immediate - all they are obligated to give you is accumulated vacation time. PERIOD.

Anything more is out of the niceness of their heart
NOT because your letter specifies two-weeks later. Many employees think that the two-weeks notice is going to get them two-weeks pay for "doing the right thing". WRONG.

Roland responded 6 years ago: #127

I have to agree that giving two weeks notice in some situations makes absolutely no sense. For example, I recently gave two weeks notice for a sales job I did for about three months. The problem with two weeks notice in my particular position, and probably many sales positions, is that once I gave the notice there was virtually no reason for me to perform the essential function of my job, calling on customers.

And while it is certainly nice to get what amounts to a two week "vacation" there has been a certain amount of awkwardness since my manager didn't really outline any expectations for me in the last couple of weeks other than informing my accounts that I am leaving.
If anything two weeks notice can turn what was initially an amicable departure into a very negative situation.

Sarah responded 6 years ago: #128

I have a potential job offer that will double my income along with letting me work from home. I am not planning on giving 2-weeks' notice (maybe 2 days at most). However, this new job may not start for another month. I have 7 vacation days left for 2009 and since I will not have been employed for 12 months when I leave, they will not pay me for my unused vacation days. I want to use my vacation days, but I'm afraid that my boss will get suspicious and I may be let go anyway. If I have this new job in the bag, should I take all my vacation days right before I leave?

Don responded 6 years ago: #129

I received a job offer with a 14% increase in pay, less of a workload, a more easy-going environment, and less restrictions. I was also going to be working with a previous co-worker that left the same company I was about to leave. It was a hard decision, but I couldn't turn down the money and the peace of mind. I am due to start working on March 30th. I gave my two-week notice on March 10th, with my last day being March 27th. I gave a few extra days notice for the benefit of the company. I didn't know it would come back to bite me in the butt.

I go in today to ask if I still take my Personal day on March 18th since I had scheduled it before my notice. I talked to my manager and HR rep and they explained that they normally require an employee to work during their last two weeks without vacation because it will delay the final payment. I had no problem with that. Then my manager says that my last day will be on March 20th and not the 27th. And he also said that I would get any unused vacation time I had, but I would not get paid for that last week I'm not there. I didn't know they could do that.

I asked, since I put in my last day as March 27th, why was I letting go early without pay for that last week. He stated that since my agency assignments would be re-assigned that following week, I could not have anymore contact with them and that it is a security concern for the company.

I was not that upset, just surprised. It just woke me up and let me know that a two-week notice is no longer required as a "common courtesy" to the company, but a one day notice is more appropriate.

Christina responded 6 years ago: #130

I resigned from a job for medical reasons a few years ago. I had been working there for over a year when I found out that I needed to have surgury. I brought in a Doctor's note explaining that I needed to have a week off to have the surgury and to give me a bit of recovery time. At the time I submitted the note I had some sick leave left, but I had been advised that I should take the time off under FMLA. My boss, however, told me to my face that she didn't believe that I was sick and that I could not take the time off. She refused to give me leave to have the surgury. I was stressed, which aggravated my condition. By the time I was scheduled to have surgury two weeks later, I had no sick leave left and my boss was using it as an excuse to continue to not sign the paperwork. She even said that she had no proof that I needed surgury, so I asked my doctor to wroite another note explaining the situation. When I presented it to her, she said it "wasn't good enough". I tried to contact the HR person who is generally in charge of these types of things, but he was on a months vacation and the assistant had no clue. I ended up resigning without notice because I simply couldnt take it anymore. My health was much more important. She has continued to blackball me to this day (5 years later). I have had more than a few job offers rescinded after potential employers have spoken with her to "confirm" my employment.

sally san diego ca responded 6 years ago: #131

i was recently offered a new career position for which i could of never imagined i would even get, i mean i must of been blessed with this, see; a while ago i had took up a few classes in bussiness/computers of all kinds of advances, and medical terminology,

it wasn't till recently i had tried to apply for severial jobs one in which i did work, but quit cause i didn't like it, then after that it has been hard to get back into the medical secean, i was rejected for a long period of time.

so, then i took a job offer working in a nursing home i only been there for 5 months and walla bing bada boom! i got a job offer in a clinic as a medical speicalist case management. its on the secen traning, since i dont have much experiecne.

now, i am writting my two week notice but i want to leave earlier just to have extra time to prepare myself for my new postion.

is that something i can do?

i think my department cant benift from it, cause its like i move out my old position and the people alredy working there in my department can take my spot and the ones that are part time can take the perosn who took my spot there spo since it is full time there you go all worked out.

some one get back to me

Emily responded 5 years ago: #132

Right now I don't know what todo. For the pass week I've been looking for another job but have not found one yet and I am all ready working another job but I'am somewhat Unhappy cause they cut my hours back durning the summer after I got back from my vacation due to strees that I get when being there. Plus I know that maybe I should give a two week notice but if I don't and just not say anything to them can that be bad on my part of finding another job. Please write back cause I can't handle the stress of my job anymore.

James Carlini responded 5 years ago: #133


If a job is causing you stress - you should not stay in it. Depending on your financial situation, it could be better for you if you leave sooner than later.

Two-week notices are NOT mandatory unless you have some contractual agreement with a mutual notification clause which I am sure you do not have.

It sounds like you do not have a full-time job if they cut your hours back. To be professional about leaving, you can give them some type of notice - one week, one day, it does not matter. Getting away from the stress is more important. If you were really valuable to them, why would they cut your hours?

You could be avoiding a near future layoff (whose to say they don't let you go in a month due to business conditions?)

Abby responded 5 years ago: #134

james, I am in a situation where the stress level is too much. Every day my duties change and when I get organized and excel at a task it is whisked away from me and given to someone else, who I must then train, while doing my onw work.

It is a small business and we deal with a tricky population. There is tremendous employee tension and discord and I want to leave.

After reading this article I know I have to do it without notice. There are too many things that could/would be blamed on me if I were to give notice. I will do it on a Friday and early in the morning. I think it's probably the best decision for me. I thank you for the original article and its follow up. Even in a bad economy, this subject has resonance.

Emily responded 5 years ago: #135

Two years ago I was a good employee at a company where I had access to confidential information for three years. No attendence problems, no bad reviews, no negatives at all. I used my expeience there to get a much better paying job and gave what I though was the standard two weeks notice. One day later I was shocked and surprised to be escorted out the door as that confidential was now somehow 'at risk'. Although it's now two years later, the scars of this incident are still with me. Is access to confidential information a valid reason to get someone off the premises immediatly after they're given notice?

Sherill responded 5 years ago: #136

After working for a large school district, I accepted a position with a small educational company based in Seattle, Washington. I wanted to do something different, so I took a pay-cut to join this company as a remote employee working in Tennessee. This was in January 2009. Three weeks after I joined this company, the CEO called a meeting stating that the company was looking to partner with another company and that everyone would take a 20% cut in pay. We are only allowed to work 32 hours per week. He assured us that the cut would only last 6-12 weeks. It has now been 9 month. I have only received one full paycheck since I have been with this company.

I was devastated and very angry. I was interviewed by the a V.P., Director, and Coordinator. They in no way disclosed that the company was not independently viable.

I have a very important job that requires me to provide implementation services for a school district with 112 elementary schools (the company cannot afford to hire another person under the current contract). Even with a 40 hour work week, I had to work at least 50-55 hours to perform my job with fidelity. Working only 32 hours per week is impossible.

We have just started a new school year and we are still only allowed to work 32 hours per week. During the summer, actively sought other professional opportunities. I recently accepted an offer with a large healthcare company making more than my previous job before my current job.

I gave one-week notice on Friday, 9-11-09. I have six days of vacation and two floating holidays. I don't care about losing them. I just want to leave. I don't expect this company to do the right thing about my vacation days. They have screwed me from day one.

M., Chicago responded 5 years ago: #137

I am currently working in a temp-to-hire position at a company and things are not working out. I have a 2-hr+ commute each way (in addition to being at work at least 9 hours a day), which leaves me completely exhausted when I get home. I have always dreamed of taking the LSAT and am scheduled to take it in just under two weeks. The problem is, my work schedule/commute leaves me too drained to put enough time into studying. In order to get into the law schools I want to go to, I have to earn a high score on the test. I have worked at the company for just under two months and am still classified as a temp. The turnover rate is extremely high at this company, with most people hired for my position being fired in a couple of months. (For example, three out of four people who were hired in June were let go by August.) The last person who had my position gave notice after only 5 weeks and was let go on the spot. I am in a bind because I don't want to burn bridges, but I also want more time to study and don't want to be terminated for giving notice!

I'm just out of college and have little experience in the professional world. Can someone with more experience advise me if it's ok to quit without notice in this case? I can't imagine this affecting my future prospects as a lawyer as this company is not even a law firm. I don't know whether I'll be forced to put this job on my resume--it's very thin as I'm a very recent college grad and have no other work experience but internships. Thanks.

Nathan responded 5 years ago: #138

@M. in Chicago

I'm not a lawyer and can't tell you what to do but if it was me I'd pack my stuff, turn in my badge, keys, etc., and leave w/3 minutes notice (less if possible). Quick, clean, and such a short job need not be listed on your resume.

Rock_Hardplace responded 5 years ago: #139

I'm currently working as a consultant, on a project that was originally supposed to be 6 months. I've wroked for the consulting agency that placed me here off and on for 8 years. The project was extended for antoher 6 and ends in March, and the client offered me a full time permanent position. No way! I literally had a wonderful opportunity fall in my lap with another company, and they want me to start in more consulting, better pay, better job, etc. etc. Since my work is so specialized and the project is so behind, I was going to give 6 weeks notice so that we could get this wrapped up. I worry that NOT giving notice will leave the client in a bind, make the consulting company look bad, and burn a bridge should I need to return to another branch of this consulting company for another project in the future. The local office I am working for though, is literally full of sleazy pimps. They've avoided holiday pay, etc. and have literally cost me about $6,0000 in lost benefits. I am in IT, and have very limited access as a consultant anyway. Should I just go the "no notice" route or two week instead of 6?

JAMES CARLINI responded 5 years ago: #140

If your local office managers are messing around with your benefits, you should see the writing on the wall. No matter what you do, you will not get any glowing reference from them.

Go to the new opportunity.

READ THE LATEST in my upcoming article that will be published on or before February 1, 2010.

Ronda responded 5 years ago: #141

I am currently in a situation which prompted me to search the internet for the answer to my question. Which is, is it moral/ethical to leave your employer without giving 2 weeks notice. This is something I have always done when moving on. I have worked for my current employer (a large corporate healthcare company) for 2.5 years. I also have a part-time job at another corporate healthcare facility. I enjoy working both jobs because they each offer idfferent types of healthcare. I have considered leaving my position numerous times for numerous reasons over the last 2.5 years. I have decided to stay because I truly enjoy the Physicians and other nurses I work with. Having said that, I have never seen employees treated so badly by management in my 18 year career in healthcare. I have an exceptional employee file with excellent attendance. I have personally been faced with some challenges over the last 2.5 years, such as my son died suddenly of leukemia. I had signed a contract with this company agreeing to work there for two years with a sign on bonus as incentive. My son died during this time, so I was on a family medical leave while he stuggled for 25 days in the hospital. Upon my return to work in 6 weeks, two weeks after my son had passed away, HR informed me my contract would be extended due to my absence. This was not written into my contract and was over turned. Largely in part to my arguement that a colleague who started at the same time was out on leave for 12 weeks for the birth of her baby and they had no intentions of extending her contract. 2) I fractured my leg unknowingly in a softball game thinking I had "tweaked" my knee. I worked every shift with a limp for two weeks. I happend to take forms for the same colleague to the HR department as a courtesy to her and was asked by the same person in HR why I was limping and I told her. Now three weeks into my injury I had just went to the Doctor a couple days before this to find that I was healing a fibular head fracture. I was told I would have to go home immediatly as "it was against company policy to be limping in the ER, in case you would need to run to an emergency." I asked fro the policy and was given the attendace policy, that said if I miss more than 3 days of work I would need to provide a doctors note stating I was 100% to return to work. I did not receive this policy until they had made me miss 4 days of work. My doctor would not do this because although I could walk I was not 100%. SO I had to wait for his realese to return to work and needless to say I never saw a policy with any information regarding limping. 3) A month ago I spoke with my supervisor about finding coverage for two days I am scheduled in February I am unable to work. She told me If I found someone to work the shifts it would be okay. I found coverage for both shifts. Upon her written approval she informed me that I would have two unexcused absences placed in my emploee file. When I asked what policy or whatever I was violating by giving a months advance notice and finding coverage for my shifts per her request, I was offered nothing.
So my long story amounts to this. I finally feel like I have given and given to consitantly be treated badly. It has made me mad enough I just want to quit and walk out. But I have been taught over the years that it is professional and courteous to give your employer at least two weeks notice. I have always done this in the past but have never been faced with this type of behavior from previous employers. After reading your post I feel in many ways I should give notice and leave. This will be very difficult for me to overcome and proceed with because I feel guilty and I am not sure why! Thank you for your help in making my decision.

ae responded 5 years ago: #142

I work at a hospital as a ward clerk i just recently got a job at the office of the hospital my boss told me i needed to stick it out for 1 month and week after i had given my 2 weeks CAN an employer do this if it is in the policy to give a 2 week notice?

Amanda responded 5 years ago: #143

I was a well treated and well respected employee of Enterprise Fleet Management; a division of Enterprise Rent A Car. I always got along with my managers and I was in a pretty good situation professionally. My finacial standpoint was horrible, so I had to leave my job to pursue a different path, my job understood the pickle I was in and knew I was in the process of being evicted with my 3 year old daughter. When I gave my two weeks notice they treated me fine, said they were sorry to see me go. % hours later they informed me that I could work the next two days and that is all, so then I was left with no job for the next 2 in a half weeks!!! I will never give a two weeks notice again!!!

Scott responded 5 years ago: #144

I worked at LOWES. The job was low paying, required me to work weekends and evenings, and consisted of frequent, short notice schedule changes. I needed to make more money and found a better job. Out of loyalty mostly to those who would be stuck covering my shifts, I gave two weeks notice. I was asked to leave at the end of my shift.

I guess this is the world we now live in and I wish I had read this before...but lesson learned and I will NEVER give notice again. Anyone who reads this and works for Lowe's, your resignation will be accepted immediately. Unless you want a couple of weeks off, DO NOT GIVE NOTICE.

Kris responded 5 years ago: #145

i work for a company that is run like its still 1960. as an executive assistant (or secretary as they still call the position), i'm treated like a maid and a waitress. the owner sees nothing wrong with screaming at me with other people wrong because i didn't serve his lunch with toast along with his eggs (this happened last week!)

i found a new job relatively quick and gave my 2 week notice today but unfortunately 3 of those days are vacation days that were planned before i started looking.

i was accused of being "extremely unprofessional" for only giving a "6-day notice since 3 days are vacation and 1 day is a holiday".

i admit, i felt guilty for about oohhhh 30 seconds. i told him that i was sorry he felt that way and that's all i said.

i'm SO happy that i found this site and i don't feel guilty anymore!

Pam responded 4 years ago: #146

I am not giving one hour's notice. I'll hand it over at the end of a Friday. If the man hasn't already departed for his beach house. I'm 62 and am going back to my old boss after almost 4 years away, once the details are ironed out. I've been waiting for this moment for nearly four years. I've seen those who give notice, and it was not a good idea. Boss talks about everyone so I won't be the only one. I've got my letter drafted and it's short and to the point. Life is short. Be happy and appreciated.

Pdf responded 4 years ago: #147

Hi James,

I have been working as a contractor for an insurance company for over 2 years. I got a better opportunity now and I am moving on . I work for a consulting company and this insurance company is an indirect client. My employee agreement with my company says 'at-will' but also has a 2 week notice period as a sub clause. Client's system [an application on which I work] is moving to production 2 weeks from now.

I am stuck mentally between the 'right thing' and no-notice exit [actually I considered a week's notice] . I have been treated nicely for most part. So would a 2-week notice be more appropriate , legally because my contract with my employer has that on it and the client 'may' be happy too given their situation, or would I be making myself too vulnerable for those 2 weeks ?

From a work standpoint, nothing is left from my side,we are just testing the system to make sure all is well for the go-live day.

Debbey responded 4 years ago: #148

I've been with this company for 6 weeks and hate my job. It's caused so much stress and my TMJ has returned worse than ever. So, I gave my boss my resignation letter today giving one week's notice. She was boiling mad and said I am required to give 4 weeks notice. It does state that in the personnel handbook, but since I'm still in my 6 month probationary period AND live in an at will state I don't feel they need 4 weeks notice. My boss tried to bully me into giving more notice, but I wouldn't budge. She then took my letter and threw it on her desk and said "we'll talk about this on Monday". Okay! She can talk all she wants. I'm now considering not going back on Monday. I don't have a new job, but have several job interviews next week and will have to be out at least 2 different days. What would you do?

Lucky1 responded 4 years ago: #149

Wow, after reading the majority of these comments I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Fortunately when I put in for my 2 week's notice I did not have a problem. I was given time to tie up loose ends with clients and to train others who would be taking on my work. I had a good relationship with my boss and I was treated with a lot of respect. I even received a written recommendation. So why did I leave?
The job was just no longer for me and after 10 years it was time for a change. I have to say though that there have been others who were not granted that 2 week's notice and were released the very next day, but they had a different manager than I. Maybe it depends on the manager.

Kyle responded 4 years ago: #150

I'm debating about putting in my 2-week notice or resigning immediately. My director screwed me and my co-workers out a $10,000 Q1 Bonus. They didnt seem to care too much about me then. I can't stand my boss.

The only thing I worry about is that I have a family member who still works for the company.

What should I do?

Michelle responded 4 years ago: #151

It is against the law for an employer to refuse payment for hours worked. Each state has their own laws in regards to the amount of time allowed to send an employees final check.

I would suggest filing a complaint with your state's Department of Labor. Here is a link on how to file a complaint with the US Dept of Labor

Please don't allow a company or manager to keep your final paycheck from you. Threaten to file a complaint with the DOL, or contact the local news stations, or write letters to your city and state officials. Do what you have to. Make sure they know you will fight to get what's due to you.

KC responded 4 years ago: #152

The cruelty and self serving antics of employers leave employees with few rights these days. When they want you gone it is a slow torturous process they put people through not happy to merely can them they must first humiliate them. Family owned and operated corporations are the worst to work for. They cry poverty that they do not have enough clients so sustain business, lay offs are made,then before you leave, you see the job already advertised for a replacement. Corporations are ethically and morally bankrupt. Labor Lawyers are toothless tigers.Thank the third world immigration wave that destroyed union labor, collective bargaining agreements and decent working conditions. Go back to where you came from and get your own country's together. We are overcrowded and don't want you here. You have screwed up our places of employment, our schools and our hospitals. Our food is all contaminated cause these people deficate in the fields on our lettuce. Bienvenido now Adios.

Amalia responded 4 years ago: #153

I am giving my two weeks tomorrow, despite not really wanting to at all. My employer is a very small family business and I am the only person who does my job, and am quite sure even given 2 weeks they will not find a replacement...especially not one who will do the amount of work I do for minimum wage (which is all they pay me). My job leaves me physically exhausted and sometimes in tears from the stress and pain it causes me. I must stand in a hunched bent-over position for 8 hours straight, followed by 2 more hours of scrubbing, mopping, power-washing, lifting, and all on my hands and knees. My body aches never go away and I can't even sleep at night. I felt so trapped at this job and even though I've been there for 2 and a half years, I am still making minimum wage, get no benefits, and continue to have my workload doubled if not tripled every few months...They continue to fire other employees only to give me their work. They are nice enough people to me, but the amount of work vs. pay they compensate me with tells me they cannot be very nice in reality. I'm a mother and should not be so exhausted after work that I cannot move off of the couch and yet cannot afford to buy my daughter Christmas presents that are not 'used'. I am giving my two weeks and not explaining any of these things to them, as hard as that's going to be. If they ask, that's a different story. I just need this job reference because I don't have any other recent employers (my last job is now out-of-business) to use for a resume. I start a new job in 2 weeks and can't wait...

Chris responded 4 years ago: #154

Very interesting thread and experiences here.

I have a questions for all of you about the ethics. I just recently signed an offer for a in internship with a large oil and gas company for the summer of 2011. I am also currently interning at a Semiconductor company and going to school. Is it unethical for me to sign and not tell my company? Should I give them a heads up or just wait 2-3 weeks before I start my new internship over the summer and resign?

Paul responded 4 years ago: #155

In my past company I gave very polite 2 weeks notice. My manager literally had started insulting me. The very next day I was "brutally" fired (I could not get any my personal things from my table, I was escorted outdoor by security). I was given a letter of "unemployment termination" where It was said that my attitude is unprofessional and unethical which was a complete lie. Apparently my manager just decided to get me fired instead. 2 weeks notice - no more. Employers are abusing that policy as much as they like.

HH responded 4 years ago: #156

I'm dealing with this question right now. Originally, I wanted to do the "right thing" and give notice and assist with the transition. I haven't given notice just yet because I need to clear some hurdles first.

But then this week, I found out that my boss is hiring another staff member who has less work experience and is going to do one-tenth of what I do for $25k more a year.

Suddenly, I felt faaarrrrr less inclined to grant them the same consideration and respect that they can't be bothered to show me. This place bled me absolutely dry.

What really bugs me here is that everyone is saying "don't burn bridges" and "take the high road." Well, yes, I'd like to do that, too, and if I were treated well by my company, I would. I've had great bosses in the past and gave LOTS of notice. You get as good as you give.

But I don't like the way companies have you by the nuts. They can be jerks and treat you poorly and be no worse off for it, but if I don't give two weeks and pretend like everything's fine, it will ruin my career? Something is off here.

DD responded 4 years ago: #157

Thank you so much for these articles! I have also enjoyed all the comments. I too went searching for answers on "giving 2 weeks," and found these articles.
I didn't give 2 weeks notice and I'm very happy. I busted my tail and when they didn't give me a raise and told me "it's just business," then I looked for a new job. When I went to turn in my immediate resignation letter and keys, I told them "it's just business."
I was concerned as well about what kind of a reference would turn up so I had a friend call my former boss and act like they were going to hire me and ask for a reference. It went surprisingly well. I did not use my boss as a refence anyhow, but you never know if someone won't still call. Instead I listed someone else within the company's network who worked closely with me and knew my skills.
It really isn't right that 2 weeks or even more of a notice is expected. Even when you "do the right thing" it is not a guarantee that you will get a good reference or anything else.

MDH responded 4 years ago: #158

I was let go at my company when they restructured. This company let go over a thousand mangers. I received no notice and was escorted out of the building. My former manager offered me a position (at a much lower pay) and I accepted. Now I have been offered a position at another company at close to my previous pay. I hate just leaving with no notice since my current manager had nothing to do with my previous layoff. I am torn because the company treated me so poorly and I feel I owe them nothing.

kam responded 4 years ago: #159

I worked 2 week notice for this company, and they then said I had to work 3 weeks, when I refused because my new job started the next week, they have made me non rehire able at the company. My recent job, I had excellent evaluations, no write ups etc. I was on FMLA for a few weeks due to severe illness, I found out from a friend they had hired someone to take my job, so I resigned without notice due to illness. What good does it do to give a notice, which I have always done. Distressed in Illinois

jimmy responded 3 years ago: #160

Wow! Perhaps I am not such a great boss by modern draconian standards.

We give month-long notice for layoffs (haven't had to layoff for a couple years, though). If an employee gives notice and we don't want them around, we BUY out their notice period. Heck, we pay people for jury duty, sick leave when kids are sick, lunch is on the clock, all holidays are paid, etc.

No, we're not some inefficient lazy place to work at. To the contrary! We had a lot of very hardworking, high energy people.

I just really had no idea so many other companies were so petty, cruel and insufferable. My eyes are open. No wonder our staff are basically happy.

lara responded 3 years ago: #161

I had a full time nanny for two years who didn't give me two weeks notice which I thought was gross. It's not a 1-2-3 process to find a new nanny and I didn't want my child in daycare, my parents are out of state, I had them fly in for a couple of weeks AND I had to take a leave which I think endangered my job. We had a dispute over money when she asked for a raise but we had an agreement about salary, I didn't think a raise was in order after two years! There are situations where two weeks notice is not only ethical, it's really essential for the employer and only fair.

no name responded 3 years ago: #162

My company requires 3 wks notice at least.
Based on my past experiences of my superior frequent lies and cunning tricks. I really don't trust them for a reasonable 3 weeks transistion.
I just cannot imagine what will happen, although the day is not here yet...

Moved On responded 3 years ago: #163

I read this article when trying to decide if I should give notice at my old job. I chose not to based on their past practices of laying off without notice, demotions and punishments that were unwarranted. I took 2 weeks vacation, got my bonus and emailed my resignation in. Prior to leaving I did a turnover with someone who wanted the position. I have had several nasty emails from my old boss and coworkers. I do not think this harrassment is appropriate and my stomach is in constant knots. Stress was one of the reasons I left.
My new job requires a security clearance, can my old job hurt my chances of getting this clearance?

RH responded 3 years ago: #164

Having worked in human resources at several companies, I have to agree with all comments. It totally depends on your situation and the company you work for. I will also say that all the comments relative to the employer not providing notice to the employee when they are being terminated are right-on. It should definitely work both ways

Mien responded 3 years ago: #165

My offer letter is 2 months , but since my boss told all of us he may plan to shut down the factory , then I start to look for new job.
Once I get new offer , I tender my resignation with 2 weeks notice (with my boss approval).My last day on February.
When I check my Feb salary on March , he replied me that instead of they paying me , I have to compensate to his company for 2 months wages.
Now I have case in labour office.
This company is really suck , and I not the only victim.
Never trust what your boss said unless he can acknowledge on your resignation letter or issue an agreement to you.
I do not have black and white to support me.
I may lose in this case.

Ms Liz responded 2 years ago: #166

I am so glad that I read this article. I am a social worker and I have a BSW. about six months at the company where I work we got a new boss. He a appearred to be a good guy with potential. He has stated that he is a christian just like myself. His first statement to me was, you will have to help me because I don't know what I am during. Okay was my reply. This man was so contolling and lacked people skills that he made everybody in our department redo paperwork in our charts which was already signed by the former senior case manager which left us behind in our recent paperwork which meant we were always behind and sice it was behind everyone in the department continued to be written up. He wanted everything rewritten to match the way he wrote nothing was ever right he wanted us to be a copy cat of himself. If you spoke up against him or tried to make suggestions, on allowing us to continue to write the way that we were taught he would get furious and write you up. This whole company sucks for allowing this behavior. I have been with this company for 3 years and never had a write up. Since this man has been there my blood pressure and stress levels are high. I was given 5 days off because I forgot to redo progress notes in three charts. This job has caused me stress that I have never experienced on any job. I amm suppose to return back to work in five days. Instead I have decided to quit and not give a letter of resignation. During this time 3 employers just got up and walked out due to his behavior. I currently have not found other employment, but I can't take this kind of abuse any longer. I will have to trust God to help me find other employment. I solict your prayers. Took my blood pressure today it is within normal limits. Do you think I made the right move?

bobby responded 2 years ago: #167

Doing the right thing.
I recently left an employer that I gave 100% to for over twenty years.I gave a two week notice as I always knew it to be "DOING THE RIGHT THING", took on another job that I had alot of promises made when accepting the job.I started my new job day one only to find the person that made all the promises to was no longer there.But, my point is that I recently wanted to go back to the company I left on good terms with,called human resource ect.I didn't even get the respect of a call back, no answer from human resource, nor my x boss that I contacted as well. Not even the common courtousy of a phone call. So much for doing the right thing.Now, I have another job offer,feel bad that they need me asap,and I can't give notice to.Do you look at it as one bad corporate apple spoiles the whole bunch, or go old school and give two week notice. Thanks to this article, I know exactly what I am going to do. Illinois as well is an at will state.Just hope it doesn't spoil them allowing me to take COBRA. Thanks for the about time todays world of the way things should be.RH Chicago

chris responded 2 years ago: #168

Just walk out. I use to give notice and one day I gave 3 weeks notice and was told to leave that day. I was paid for the full 3 weeks though. Be careful, I told my boss i was going to give my notice in a week and he showed up to my office with an HR person the next day and tried to fire me. I laughed at him and remined him that i was leaving anyway. The HR person was shocked at what he tried to do and tried to stop him from saying anything else. I learned 3 years later that the hospital marked me as no rehire. Since that day i do not give notice. I just left a job with no notice and the company marked me a no rehire agian. Bottom line is, these companies fire people all of the time without notice, so why should you give them any notice...Just self termanate. Its actually kind of inspiring.

Kevin responded 10 months ago: #169

Thank you Mr. Carlini for this article. Eight years later and it's even more relevant.

I resigned from my position today after two months of being disrespected professionally and not being given the duties I was hired to do. by sending notice and included a summary of tasks for transition. The VP, my hiring manager, talked with me over the phone to simply say how unprofessional I am for doing such a thing--leaving them in a lurch.

The old guard that demands you sign an Employment agreement saying you agree to AT WILL employment, then get indignant when you exercise instead of them, is over.

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