Can your employer demand a long notice before you leave?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Employment Law

There was recently a story making the rounds on social media about a company that had three of its employees put in their two weeks’ notice relatively close together. This was a burden for the business, so the owner said that all employees in the future would have to give three months of notice, rather than just two weeks.

As an employee, this may immediately raise some red flags. Is your employer allowed to demand such a long notice? What if you’ve been offered another job or if you’re moving across the country? How much control over notice do employers really have?

Are you an at-will employee?

There’s only really one question to ask here and it’s whether or not you’re an at-will employee. If you have a contract, then you signed it and you’ve agreed to the terms of that contract. Your employer could certainly put in the contract that you need to give three months of notice before you leave.

If you’re an at-will employee, however, then you don’t have to give any notice at all. In the case of the business in this example, employees giving two weeks’ notice was simply a common courtesy anyway. Your employer can’t even tell you that you have to give that much, and they certainly can’t tell you it has to be longer. You are fully within your rights to simply walk off the job and never return at any time that you want.

What if a dispute arises?

If you wind up in a dispute with your employer over any sort of wage-and-hour issues or contractual issues, make sure that you are well aware of your legal rights.