If I only gave 1 weeks notice instead of 2, can I get into trouble?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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If I only gave 1 weeks notice instead of 2, can I get into trouble?

In the interview, I put 2weeks from that day as my availability. Much to my surprise, I was hired on the spot. The new company started the hiring process which includes a background check/drug screen. The background check also included a credit check. Since my employer had not paid me on time many times over the past few years, or their payroll checks had bounced, it caused problems with my finances and hurt my credit. I was so concerned about the credit check I did not immediately give notice. When I did give notice, it was only a week. What legal action can my soon-to-be-former employer take?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will. As an employee at will, you don't have to give any notice--you can resign or quit on the spot. Notice is simply a courtesy, not a requirment, and there is no liability for not providing "enough" notice.

If you had an employment contract, look to its terms. If the contract obligated you to be employed through a certain date, the employer could potentially sue you for any costs or losses your leaving earlier caused it to incur--e.g. if it had to hire a more expensive independent contractor to do your work; if it lost some account or failed to complete a project on time; etc.

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