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Saturday, September 23, 2023

can I give 2 weeks discover when my employer says they “count on” 4 weeks? — Ask a Supervisor

A reader writes:

I work at a big healthcare system and I’m exploring new alternatives. We now have a resignation coverage that states that salaried workers (I fall into that class) are anticipated to offer no less than 4 weeks written discover of resignation. Moreover, it consists of that personnel data will replicate if somebody leaves earlier than the “required” discover interval.

In earlier departures from organizations, I’ve given a two-weeks discover with out an excessive amount of situation. Any ideas on giving solely a two-week discover with my present employer even with the four-weeks discover expectation?

Yeah, some organizations are keen on asserting that they “count on” longer-than-standard discover intervals from workers, with none actual potential to require it.

Let’s speak about this in philosophical phrases earlier than we get to the sensible ones.

Assuming that we’re speaking in regards to the U.S., the place two weeks discover is the skilled normal, and assuming that you just don’t have an precise contract requiring longer discover (most U.S. workers don’t have contracts in any respect), more often than not that is B.S.:

1. Before everything, two weeks is the skilled conference. It’s what our employment system is constructed round, and usually employers make do with that simply positive. (It’s price noting that discover intervals aren’t meant to offer your employer time to rent and practice your alternative — for many jobs, even 4 weeks wouldn’t be lengthy sufficient for that. Relatively, a discover interval is simply supposed to offer time so that you can wrap up tasks and transition them to whoever will probably be masking them within the interim.)

2. Anticipating extra discover can put workers in tough positions with their subsequent jobs. It’s not usually too laborious to set a begin date for a brand new job 4 weeks off, however if you wish to take any day without work in between jobs, now you’re pushing the beginning date out additional, and it may well begin to get more durable to barter that.

3. When your employer has chosen to not give workers contracts (once more, like most American employers) with a purpose to protect their potential to terminate your employment each time they need, it’s fairly absurd to “count on” discover from you that they’re not prepared to decide to themselves. (To be honest, in case your employer at all times pays severance once they finish somebody’s employment — and when that severance at all times covers no less than the identical variety of weeks of discover that they need from you — this argument holds much less water.)

4. Furthermore, most employers that ask for 4 weeks of discover or longer don’t trouble to make use of that point nicely. Lots of people who give greater than two weeks discover discover that their employers don’t begin on substantive transition work till near the top of that interval anyway.

So there’s the argument towards it.

In sensible phrases, what occurs in the event you give two weeks discover in case your group requires 4? It depends upon the group. In a few of them, completely nothing — generally that wording has been within the handbook perpetually however folks give two weeks discover on a regular basis and nobody thinks something of it … or they’d like extra discover however are conscious they gained’t get it each time. In different circumstances, they’ll warn you that there’s a penalty for doing it — like that you just gained’t get your remaining accrued trip time paid out (in states the place they’re not legally required to pay it) or that you might want to give the complete 4 weeks with a purpose to stay in good standing of their system, in case you apply once more sooner or later. In principle it’s one thing that would come up in a future reference test too … however “we ask for 4 weeks of discover and she or he solely gave two” isn’t particularly damning.

And actually, in each group I’ve seen that requested for 3 or 4 weeks of discover, some folks nonetheless resigned with much less and simply defined that their circumstances dictated that, and it goes positive. (It may not go positive in the event you’re coping with a extremely problematic boss … however then the boss is extra the issue than your discover interval is.) Most often, persons are positive saying, “I do know you like 4 weeks of discover, however sadly I couldn’t make the timing work out. However I’ll be right here till (date two weeks away) and I’m dedicated to doing every part I can to assist with a easy transition.”

Now, there are some exceptions to this — jobs the place longer discover isn’t simply desired however is actually an trade norm past that one firm, or the place there’s clearly good motive for it (and healthcare, your subject, is commonly a type of). Should you’re in a type of and everybody you’re employed with has at all times given the complete 4 weeks — or somebody didn’t and it brought on nice scandal — then you definately in all probability want to stick to these norms.

However for most individuals, longer discover intervals are extra the employer’s hope than a real requirement* that has penalties for breaking it. The very best factor you are able to do is to know your tradition, know what folks leaving earlier than you may have carried out, determine how a lot you care about what penalties (if any) your employer imposes on shorter discover intervals, after which time your discover accordingly.

* To be clear, even two weeks discover isn’t a requirement, within the sense that there’s no authorized option to implement it. Leaving with out discover can hurt your status and have an effect on future references — and I usually advise avoiding it besides in uncommon circumstances — however employers can’t make you keep in the event you determine to depart quicker. 

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