Is a Two-Week Notice Required in California?
Two weeks’ notice. That is the mantra we often hear when someone is contemplating leaving their job. But is giving 2 weeks’ notice always necessary before you quit a job in California? This amount of forewarning—while it might be a nice thing to do—is not required by law. However, there are some exceptions to this, and (regardless of the law) sometimes giving two weeks’ notice in California can be the best for you in light of your specific circumstances.
The best way to determine what you need to do before voluntarily separating from your employer is to consult with an experienced employment law attorney about your needs and options. At Bibiyan Law Group, PC, our knowledgeable employment attorneys are passionate about protecting employees throughout California, and we are innovators who can find the ideal solution for any work matter you face. Contact us today!
California’s At-Will Employment Law Does Not Require 2 Weeks’ Notice
California is an at-will employment state. The at-will rule means that (by default) an employee can leave their job for any reason, and an employer can terminate their employee for almost any reason (though there are a handful of illegal reasons to fire an employee). The at-will rule also means that an employee does not have to give two weeks’ notice before quitting. In fact, there is no California at-will employment notice period for job separations. You can leave your job at any time, even if you depart only seconds after deciding to do so.
When Is a Two-Week Notice Necessary or Best?
California’s default at-will rules can make it easier to move on from a position. However, walking out quickly or on a whim is not always an option you can or should use. Consider the following.
Employees Under Contract Might Have to Give Advance Notice
Not every employee in this state is an at-will employee. If your job is governed by an employment contract, there are likely rules about when and how you can quit before your contract expires. Your employment contract might require you to give two weeks’ notice or longer. And if you do not comply with the contract provisions regarding quitting, you might have to pay your employer damages or forfeit employment benefits such as bonuses or vacation pay. Please also note that not all employment contracts are written. You might be under an implied employment contract based on things you and your employer have said about your position and work expectations.
An Employer’s Policies Might Require Advance Notice
If you are not under contract at your workplace, you should still check your employer’s workplace policies regarding quitting. Review handbooks and other correspondence to see if your boss requests that you give notice before leaving your position. If you fail to follow your employer’s notice procedures, your failure might make you ineligible for rehire or other benefits you could have claimed on your way out.
Failure to Provide Advance Notice Can Affect Your Final Paycheck
While you might be able to quit at any time, California’s labor laws do require you to give at least 72 hours’ notice if you want your final paycheck at the time you leave. Employees who do not give three days’ notice or more must wait three days for their employer to deliver or mail their paycheck. But if you do give 72 hours’ notice before separating from your work and your boss does not make your paycheck immediately available, you could be entitled to penalty payments from your employer.
Speak to one of our skilled employment attorneys about your desire to quit and how to do it. We can protect your rights and recover everything you deserve from your employer.
We Are Ready to Help
At Bibiyan Law Group, we focus exclusively on protecting workers in California, and we do it well. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of employees in workplace disputes.Please reach out to us any time you face a legal challenge in your workplace. You can call us at 323-675-2374 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Hablamos Español.