If I signed a paper stating that I had to give a 45 day notice to leave my job but gave a 2 week notice in writing and they said I have to stay 45 days, can I leave without penaliry?

Asked on March 19, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can leave--they can't hold you "hostage" or force you to work--but you might be sued. If you violate a contractual agreement to provide notice, you are in breach of contract; if you breach a contract and the other side (i.e.your employer) suffers any losses or costs due to the breach, they can sue you for that amount. So say that because you left with inadequate notice, they had to hire a temp through a temp agency to cover for you for a month: they could sue for the additional hourly wage or cost. Or they didn't have the time for internal hiring or recruitment, but had to use an outside recruiter and pay him/her 15% of the replacement's annual pay--they could sue you for that amount. Etc. This is not to say they will suffer a loss, or would for certain sue if they did, but your breach would give them the option of suing if they suffer some loss or incur costs.

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