What happens if you fall ill between your resignation and the end of your notice period?

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What happens if you fall ill between your resignation and the end of your notice period?

My brother recently received a new job offer and submitted a letter of resignation to his current job. Then 2 days later he had a major heart attack. He has a long recovery period ahead. Are either of these employers under any legal obligation to him?

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually unless their exists some type of written agreement to the contrary (i.e. an employment contract or union agreement), your brother is not entitled to any medical coverage or other benefits from either employer. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable  discrimination). Accordingly, a worker can be terminated or not hired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, neither one is under any obligation to him. Employment in this nation is "employment at will." There is no right to a job--whether to start one or have it, or to stay employed as long as you'd like, or to be paid when you are not working or cannot work. So the current employer can terminate his employment immediately, if they choose--they don't need to even honor the notice period, if they don't want--and the new employer doesn't need to give him a job if he can't start work on time.


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