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Before quitting, do employees have to give you notice?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Employment Litigation

You want to avoid a situation where workers quit unexpectedly. Ideally, you’d like to have time to train the replacement before that worker is even gone. This is clearly best for your business.

As a result, you consider telling employees that they have to give you a certain amount of notice. Maybe you keep it simple and go with the two weeks that are the industry standard. But maybe you ask them to give you a month’s notice or something of this nature. Are you legally allowed to do so?

Only if you give them contracts

If you give employees contracts, then you can determine how much notice they need to give you before quitting. The contract allows both sides to lay down stipulations like this, and then they’re legally bound by it if both of them sign the deal. You certainly can’t force an employee to accept a contract, but you could offer them one at the point of employment that includes a provision about giving notice before quitting.

If you do not give your employees contracts, then they are at-will employees. If this is the case, then you cannot tell them to give you any notice at all. You can certainly ask them to give you two weeks or a month or any other amount of time. But they don’t legally have to give you any notice, and they wouldn’t have violated labor laws if they quit on their lunch break and went home. There’s no legal requirement to provide an employer with any sort of advance notice before leaving.

If you have questions like this about your legal rights as an employer or the rights of your employees, make sure you carefully take the time to consider each position carefully.