Friday, January 25, 2008

Employee "Notice" and Employment-At-Will

Surprisingly, I've recently received several inquiries from employers and employees alike asking whether an employee is required to provide notice of resignation to the employer. In an employment-at-will state such as New York, the answer is "no."

The concept of employment-at-will is, among other things, that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time. The situation may be different where there is a contractual obligation to provide notice. While it is good form and usually expected that an employee will provide sufficient notice to the employer (e.g., two weeks) to permit an orderly transition, there is generally no legal requirement that the employee do so.

Interestingly, while many employers expect to receive notice from their employees, many of them don't think twice about discharging a worker on the spot while providing 15 minutes for them to gather up their personal belongings before being escorted from the premises by security.

Go figure!

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