Can I get out of a termination penalty if i didn’t give the required notice?

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Can I get out of a termination penalty if i didn’t give the required notice?

I took a job and resigned after 4 days because of an uncomfortable work environment. I received a letter today thinking it was my check for the 4 days I worked but instead it is a letter from their attorney and it says I did not give 6 weeks notice therefore I owe them $7200 minus the $800 I would have received as pay, so I still owe them $6400 Unfortunately, when I looked at the offer letter it was written there but I honestly did not notice it and the employer never mentioned it. Isn’t this an illegal practice regardless?

Asked on July 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, it's not illegal. An employer can require a certain minimum notice of quitting/resigning, and it is legal to do so if the employee agreed to it--which you did by taking a job where the job offer included that term or provision. That you did not notice that provision is irrelevant: the law presumes (i.e. requires) that you read and agree to whatever contract, offer letter, or other written document you are given. You took a job with a large penalty for quitting without adequate notice; you can held to that. 


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