Can an employer tell you not to return to work after giving a 2 weeks notice to join the military?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer tell you not to return to work after giving a 2 weeks notice to join the military?

I recently sworn in and signed my contract to join the military. I returned to work to inform my employer verbally and give a 2 weeks letter of resignation on 10/12. However on 10/14, I was told to let this be my last day and not to return back to work to complete my remaining week since time goes in on this weekend. Time going in on the weekend has nothing to do with me completing my 2 weeks notice, and I feel it was personal and an act of revenge against me that I was leaving. On top of that, I’m leaving to join the military and help serve our country. This is government and very disrespectful to me, the military and our country for anyone to be treated like that when they want to resign from their employer for better career opportunities and help serve their country at the same time.I understand my state is an employment at will state, either the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without warning, and with or without cause, unless there is an existing agreement with express terms and conditions covering its termination. In this case, I resigned to join the military which is government. I wasn’t fired but told not to return because of quitting with a 2 weeks notice. Is this something that needs to be looked into legally?

Asked on October 31, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Absent legally actionable discrimination or an employment contract/union agreement to the contrary, in an "at will" employment relationship a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes when to fire a worker and why. In fact, an employee can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. Further, while a 2 week notice is commonplace, it is more of a courtesy that a requirement. Accordingly, an employer can choose it honor it or not. s to your going into the military, if you were under orders you may have some rights under certain circumstances. However, such is not the case here since you voluntarily chose to quit in order to enlist. While your wanting to serve is commendable, it does not afford you any rights in this situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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