You’ve likely always been told to give two weeks’ notice before quitting a job if you can. This gives your employer time to replace you or change their schedule so that they’re not struggling or understaffed. Yet, at the same time, it’s not common for employees to get two weeks notice before being fired. If you’re not receiving advanced notice, why are you told to give it? Do you have to?
The employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany want to help shed some light on this question. We can explain what advanced notices are, what legal requirements surround them, and why they may or may not be crucial for you as an employee.
What are Advanced Notices?
Advanced notices, also known as notice periods, are a predetermined length of time that an employee or employer gives before terminating an employment contract. This means that either party is providing written and/or verbal notice to the other party at least a certain amount of time before the termination date.
The legal requirements for advanced notices vary depending on the state, the industry of the employee and employer, and the wording of the employment contract. In many states, no specific laws or regulations surround advanced notices for private employers. In all states, there is no law requiring employees to give advanced notice. So unless required by the employment contract, neither party owes an advanced notice in these states.
However, some states and federal laws do have specific requirements for government employers, unionized workers, and certain industries when giving advanced notice to employees.
For example, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, companies with 100 or more employees must provide a 60-day advance notice before a plant closing or mass layoff. Failure to comply with this law can result in significant financial penalties for the employer.
How Does At-Will Employment Affect Advanced Notices?
When it comes to individual employees, they are neither required to give or receive advanced notice due to at-will employment. At-will employment means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason so long as it is not discriminatory or retaliatory. Conversely, employees are also free to resign from their jobs without providing one.
The Impact on Future Work Prospects
We have seen many cases where employees who did not receive advanced notice were left struggling to find new employment. In response, the amount of employees who do not provide one has risen to 18%. This number grows among employees who are a part of Gen Z and millennials to 22%.
As more and more employees are terminated across industries without advanced notice, more and more employees are going to do the same. With laws protecting the right to quit/fire without notice continually being enforced, this trend will likely continue.
Should You Give or Receive Advanced Notice?
The decision of whether to give or receive advanced notice ultimately depends on your circumstances. For employers, providing advanced notice can help mitigate potential legal risks and maintain a positive reputation in the job market. If an employer has a reputation for firing people without notice, potential employees will decide that they don’t want the stress or desire to work for a company that may fire them abruptly, without notice.
For employees, giving advanced notice can improve their chances of receiving positive references and recommendations. This is because prospective employers often view a lack of advanced notice as a red flag and may question the employee’s reliability and loyalty. On the other hand, employees who give notice ahead of time are more likely to receive positive references and recommendations from their former employer. This can significantly improve their chances of finding new employment quickly.
However, it is essential to consider any applicable laws and employment contracts before making a decision. Consulting with an experienced employment law attorney can also provide valuable insight into the best course of action for your specific situation.
Contact the Employment Law Attorneys at Barrett & Farahany For Help
Advanced notices are not as crucial as they used to be in maintaining a fair and professional relationship between employers and employees. The presence or lack thereof of advanced notice will speak volumes about the employee and even more about the employer.
If you don’t give advanced notice and your employer tries to file a suit against you, or your employer wrongfully terminates your employment with no advanced notice, our attorneys can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.