What to do if I was an at-will employeeand submitted my 2 weeks noticebut was summarily terminated?

My wages stopped immediately; my last check was calculated per diem, and not until the end of the pay period. Is this legal? Also, I have 24 hours of vacation and 36 hours of sick leave that were not paid as well.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were an at-will employee, you may be fired at will--at any time, for any reason, without any notice. There is also no obligation on the part of an employee to allow  the employer to give two weeks notice and keep working--the employer may accept the person's resignation effective immediately. (Note: there is also no obligation on you to give 2 weeks notice, unless you signed a contract to that effect; two weeks notice is just tradition, not law.)

As to the vacation: the law does not require accrued vacation to be paid out on resignation. Whether the company does or does not depends on 1) was there any agreement or contract requiring them to do this? or 2) if there was no employment agreement, what was the company's policy. Whatever their policy was--which you can find in the employee handbook, in emails or notices or memos about policy, and in what was done for other employees previously--they need to do for you.

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