Short notice resignation snowflake-y justification
August 20, 2013 2:17 PM   Subscribe

My contract with my employer is at-will (and I work in an at-will state), and I need to get out of here asap, but I don't want to give too much notice...

I was going to give the standard two-weeks notice, but I found out from the person who previously occupied my position (and who is now elsewhere), that the CEO/company withheld a portion of his last paycheck (he left 3 pay periods ago) "in case they needed something from" him. I am now in the awkward position of deciding between quitting right after my next paycheck is deposited, or "doing the professional thing", giving two weeks, and possibly having to deal with having money owed to me. What do I do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since you have evidence of hanky-panky, I wouldn't think twice about quitting with no notice.

Just quietly line up your ducks so that someone can pick up where you left off.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:18 PM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

Two weeks notice is a courtesy. It does not seem like this employer is due that courtesy.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:19 PM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

I agree. If they are doing that sort of thing then there's no reason to extend the courtesy of a 2-week notice to them.
posted by dawkins_7 at 2:19 PM on August 20, 2013

If you ever might need or want a reference from this employer, give the two weeks. Be prepared to stand up for yourself as far as payment goes, but if you can give the two weeks, it might be good for you down the line.
posted by brainmouse at 2:20 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, if they have a practice of behaving wrongly and illegally to those who quit with notice, then why give notice?

If they do not pay you money owed for your work, you should contact your state's labor department. There can be big penalties for doing what they did before.
posted by grouse at 2:21 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

They cannot withhold your last pay for long periods of time. The amount of time they have varies from state to state, but this would be a good thing for you to look up for your state. If you are in Texas, this is the law: "Regular wages are due no later than the regularly-scheduled payday for an employee who resigned, and by the sixth calendar day for an employee who was laid off or discharged."
posted by Houstonian at 2:28 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Give two weeks notice, and behave professionally. First, because you don't know if the other guy is telling you the truth. Second, because this is about you and your reputation, not about your company and how they act. Third, because people talk, and if you treat your company poorly, that'll get around, and your career options might be limited down the line as a result.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 3:03 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

You know, I always worried about the whole two weeks notice thing. In my last job, I had been treated abominably. I lined up references who liked me regardless of how long my notice was, got another job, and gave notice the same day I signed my new-job offer letter. It hasn't impacted me a bit. I usually last long enough in positions (4-5 years) that no one calls more than my current employer anyways. Why would they? Usually the person who supervised me is long gone as well at that point.

Just make sure you have some decent references who will back you up no matter how little notice you give. If you follow Ruthless Bunny's advice, and quietly make sure your position will be covered after you leave, you should have no issues with this.

It's a courtesy, not a requirement. Hell, I've been gone from that last job for a year and a half and they still haven't replaced that position, according to the people I know who are still there. What would two weeks notice have given them, except more time and an even better reason to be jerks to me?
posted by RogueTech at 3:43 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check your employee handbook. My friend's employee handbook states that unless two weeks notice is given his company will give him a bed reference. Also, seconding NotMyselfRightNow.
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:50 PM on August 20, 2013

Yep, notmyselfrightnow is correct. You do what you feel is right. That is almost always giving the appropriate notice.

What would you rather have to explain? How you did the right thing and your former employer was a jerk, or you did the wrong thing and now have to make excuses for it?

At will means you have the right to quit with no notice, but that doesn't mean you should.
posted by gjc at 4:18 PM on August 20, 2013

Personally I would give my two weeks notice, keep meticulous records of the relevant dates and the relevant state law regarding when my final paycheck should arrive, and then come down with furious anger and excellent legal representation if and when the final paycheck did not arrive on time.

Alternatively I would treat my final two weeks as a possibly-paid in-office vacation, do the bare minimum and just mark time while gearing up for the next thing, because that is how literally every single person I've ever seen give two weeks notice has treated their two weeks notice.

I wouldn't do both of those, because that'd be taking advantage. But one or the other, sure, no problem.

I also wouldn't worry too terribly much about references from someone known to withhold wages "in case they needed something", provided I already had the next thing lined up before quitting (which I always would because duh). That whole "word gets around" thing works both ways, and TBH business owners are rather more visibly subject to it than their employees are.
posted by ook at 4:29 PM on August 20, 2013

Don't kid yourself that a company like this would do YOU the courtesy of giving you a two week notice.

If your clear on personal references and perhaps some professional references, feel free to leave.

My friend's employee handbook states that unless two weeks notice is given his company will give him a bed reference.

This is bullshit. They can say that he left without giving a two week notice, but they certainly can't say he was a poor worker unless they've documented evidence.

I certainly hope you have documented that you were a good employee--assuming you have been.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:06 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

How much vacation time do you have accrued? Can you use 2 weeks vaca. as your notice?
posted by theora55 at 11:12 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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