Should I quit my job before a paid holiday?
December 1, 2014 8:10 PM   Subscribe

I have good reason to believe that I'm on the verge of getting a job offer in the next week or so. But my current company is closed (paid holiday) between Christmas and New Year's (12/23-1/2). If I do get the offer, am I obligated to give notice and be off the books before the break?

I can't do much to move the process along, so I'm worried that I'm going to have to choose between giving a very abbreviated notice (less than one week) and coming back from a paid vacation and resigning immediately. I've been with my current employer for >2 years, and I'm relatively senior here.

On the one hand, I feel like the paid week off is a reward for 2014, and not an incentive for 2015. But on the other, taking that time feels like poor form.

(Apologies if a similar question has been asked before. I haven't seen one if so)
posted by graphnerd to Work & Money (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
am I obligated to give notice and be off the books before the break?

hell no
posted by jayder at 8:12 PM on December 1, 2014 [22 favorites]


hell no

To expand slightly, don't ever do what I did one time and give notice right before not just the paid holiday but also when bonuses were announced. Guess who got neither a paid holiday nor a bonus?
posted by Dip Flash at 8:18 PM on December 1, 2014 [11 favorites]


Do you have an offer letter and a start date in hand?

No?

Then do not quit your job.
posted by jbenben at 8:24 PM on December 1, 2014 [31 favorites]


Depending on what industry you work in, you might be asked to leave the day you give notice, then paid for the rest of your notice period ("garden leave") - so in practice a paid vacation. Even if your company does not do this, it's still totally common for people to give notice right before scheduled vacations.
posted by pravit at 8:24 PM on December 1, 2014


The paid holiday time is amortized and covered by your regular rate. If your company only offered unpaid holiday leave, you would likely have received a slightly higher salary. Don't accept the lower salary and turn down the paid leave!
posted by samthemander at 8:26 PM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are you asking if you should quit so you're office doesn't have to pay you over a holiday before you quit? Um, no. If they had cash flow issues, they would've hesitate to fire your ass before a holiday.

Furthermore, your manager does not care about paid holidays. They do not sit around thinking about how much it costs to pay their subordinates. The person who may have the knowledge to be annoyed would be whoever your budget director is, but even they won't care -- this is how business works. People come and go and timing is never perfect. Do what's best for yourself.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:31 PM on December 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Give notice, and give an extra week after the return from the holiday. Your current employer will appreciate it, your new employer won't care, and you may be asked to go early, with all the leave. No one will be ready to have you start until after the first week of the new year, anyway.

Worst case is that they let you go early and don't pay you and you get to start the new thing earlier.
posted by bensherman at 8:36 PM on December 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: Do you have an offer letter and a start date in hand?

No?

Then do not quit your job.
posted by jbenben at 8:24 PM on December 1


Very valid point, but to be clear: I wouldn't quit before an official offer. Just trying to plan ahead.
posted by graphnerd at 8:39 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Odds are the new company wouldn't even expect you to start at the new place until mid-January anyway. Lots of people are still gone on holidays the first week of January.
posted by lizbunny at 1:52 AM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Negotiate the start date with the new job after you receive the first offer letter or when they ask when you want to start, whichever comes first (but after salary and benefits have been agreed upon). Have that start date be >= 2 weeks after the first day back from a paid holiday (assuming this is the U.S., where 2 week notice is the norm). Give notice at the old job after returning from paid holiday.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:00 AM on December 2, 2014


Best answer: Nope. Enjoy your dipsilucious vacation and tender your resignation when you return.

If you feel guilty, work on a transition plan and have it ready to go when you come back from vacation.

I'll cross my fingers for you!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:09 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you get an offer letter Dec 15, your best bet is to not say anything - you've got reasons not to tell job A that you're leaving. Either you'd tell them that your last day will be Dec 30, give me 2 weeks' pay please, and they'd say, well, we're closed, so that can't be your last day, how about we make it the 23rd, here's 6 days pay. Or you tell them that your last day will be January 2 after the holidays, and they will not be pleased. I'd recommend keeping your mouth shut, taking your holiday, and coming back to work on Jan 2 (or 5) like everybody else, and handing in your resignation then, with a full 2 weeks, last day to be Jan 16. You can imply that you didn't have the job offer until after the vacation started.

Does Company B want you to start working for them before January 19? Too bad, tell them your reasons. Honestly, that's under 6 weeks from now, and that's about as fast as they'd expect you to move, so I doubt they'd complain. In any case, plan it out, by making a list of things that cost/provide you money and time, with a column for each job.
For job A, you've got your remaining vacation days which they will cash out, as well as specific days that are paid holidays, and possibly an end-of-year bonus.
For job B, write down what you know about their paid holidays, and about their raise and bonus system. (for example, I started a job in March 2009, and because I had not worked there a full year on Jan 1 2010, I was not eligible for a raise until Jan 1 2011; if that were the case, there would be logic for starting at company B on Dec 29. At another company, raises are prorated so there'd be negligible difference between starting Jan 10 and Dec 28.)

Once you have that written down, you'll be able to discuss options with company B. "Oh, you'd like me on Jan 5? Well, I'm concerned about leaving my current job before the holidays, as that will cost me $1900 in paid holiday time and bonuses. If you can make up that difference, I would be happy to start January 5."
posted by aimedwander at 6:37 AM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Said it before and I'll say it again: unless you're under a contract that says otherwise, the two weeks notice is a courtesy and is NOT a requirement. They'd let you go on a day's notice if they had to fire you.

The advice above is a solid. All I'm saying is don't stress out about the timing. If you can afford it, schedule a week of nothing between leaving your old job and starting your new one. It's a nice mental break.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:08 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The paid holiday time is amortized and covered by your regular rate.

Further evidence that this is often the case: many places have a policy of paying employees for any unused paid vacation days they have when they leave. Give notice after you return from the break and don't feel bad about it!
posted by aka burlap at 10:34 AM on December 2, 2014


"...many places have a policy of paying employees for any unused paid vacation days they have when they leave."

Many states dictate this by law. You are owed any unpaid earned vacation time upon your departure. Check with your state Dept of Labor to be sure, but I would expect most at-will states have this in place.

If you're leaving on Jan 1, obviously you can't expect much. But if you have a rollover policy and, for example, you have a week that's still on the books, you should get that week's pay in your final check.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:21 AM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


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