Giving an employer two weeks’ notice when you leave a job is a common practice, but is it required? It depends on your situation. During the critical time of a job transition, workers should be clear about their rights and what they are required – or not required – to do when they leave a job.
What Is a Two Weeks’ Notice & How Does It Work?
A two weeks’ notice is a notification an employee gives an employer intended to offer the company time to start the hiring process to fill their position. It also provides the employee with time to find another job, if they haven’t already, so they do not have an extended period without a paycheck.
When you give two weeks’ notice, it would typically be given to your boss first. Although it may be uncomfortable, doing this face-to-face is recommended. It is up to you how much detail you want to include in this discussion. You can give the “whys” if you like, but it is not required. Some individuals may be tempted to share negative opinions about co-workers, the company, policies, etc., but it is typically best to keep those to yourself.
If you can have a constructive conversation, that is fine. Just be respectful. That old adage of “don’t burn any bridges” is helpful. Getting a recommendation is typically important as you look for another job.
Additionally, if you believe your employee rights were violated before giving your two weeks’ notice, such as discrimination or sexual harassment, consult an employee rights attorney as soon as possible.
Remain professional at work. When you give your notice, talk to your human resources department, and obtain as much documentation as you can before leaving, such as schedules, reviews, company policies, and related HR information. If you have any notes of dates and details of any incidents, relevant emails, memos, etc., save those too.
Florida Two Weeks’ Notice Law
There is no official two weeks’ notice law in Florida or at the federal level. Employees have many rights and protections at the state and federal levels, but a two-week notice law in Florida is not on the books.
Am I Required to Give A Two Weeks’ Notice in Florida?
As a general rule, employees are not required to give a two weeks’ notice in Florida. However, there is an exception to that rule. If you have signed an employment contract or union agreement that requires two weeks’ notice, you are legally obligated to comply with the stipulations of the contract or agreement. If not, you may be sued by your employer.
Some employers also have language in their employee handbook and/or company policies that stipulate two weeks’ notice. Although, policies are not necessarily legally binding like an employment contract or union agreement, and employees may decide to choose to ignore the policy. If an employee decides not to give notice, their employer may financially “punish” them by not paying out accrued vacation time or other benefits.
Even if you give two weeks’ notice, your boss may decide to fire you right away.
About At-Will Employment
Florida is considered an “at-will” state. This means an employer has the right to terminate your employment for any reason – or no reason – as long as it is not illegal. Examples of Illegal actions by employers that can lead to wrongful termination include:
- Violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – such as sex discrimination, race discrimination, and religious discrimination
- Violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – such as getting fired after taking time off for having a baby while being covered by FMLA
- Violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – such as getting forced to leave your job due to your age
- Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – such as getting fired for asking for reasonable accommodations in the workplace
“At-will” employment also means that as an employee, you may leave for any reason or no reason at all, even before the two weeks’ notice is up, without facing legal action from your employer — as long as you do not have a legally binding employment contract or union agreement.
At-Will Employment and Employment Contracts
“At-will” employment and employment contracts are terms that may sometimes be confused. With employment contracts, there is typically detailed language regarding employment parameters, which can include:
- duration of work,
- whether or not you have to give two weeks’ notice,
- restrictions in working with competitors, etc.
“At-will” employment law, which can sometimes be included in an employment contract, basically covers the right of an employer to fire you and the right for you to leave.
What Happens After Providing Notice
Your time during this period is often very eventful. You may begin wrapping up projects, training someone else, and getting your HR information organized. Informing others that you are soon leaving is important to help them prepare for your absence. Keep busy and make a lasting impression. You may need a good reference letter.
Can A Company Make You Resign Early If You Give 2-weeks’ Notice?
If you do not have an employment contract or union agreement that stipulates that you are legally able to work those last two weeks, your employer has the right to let you go under “at-will” employment law. If they fire you when you have a contract or agreement or violate your employee rights, you may have a case against your employer.
What Should You Do If You Were Wrongfully Terminated?
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. has helped thousands of employees across the state seek justice and hold employers accountable for illegal actions. We do everything in our power to help employees get the justice they deserve.