I want to leave a new job, canI do so without giving notice?

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I want to leave a new job, canI do so without giving notice?

I started a new job 2 weeks ago. I’ve been very unhappy and the work conditions were not what I was led to believe. It turns that there is a high employee turnover here because of these intolerable conditions. I’d like to submit my resignation ASAP. Is this possible? Should I personally submit it or can it be by postal mail? IPlease note: I haven’t yet signed my employment the contract; it mentions that those in their probationary period should give a 1 month notice (I want to leave immediately). I’ve ordered some office supplies already.

Asked on January 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

IF there is an employment contract in place, you'd have to honor it and provide 1 month notice. If  the contract is not yet in force, you may leave immediately--employment, in the abscence of an employment contract, is "employment at will" and either party may end the employment relationship at any time, without notice. You may provide your resignation by any means you like--in person, phone, mail, etc.

That said:

1) If the company has expended any money or resources on you (e.g. training, uniforms) and you leave immediately, they *may* seek to recover those (even if they end up losing, as they may well, due to the employment at will doctrine, that may not stop them from trying) or at least, this will cause bad feelings (see below).

2) You don't want to burn bridges in this economy. If it would be expected that  you'd provide 1 month's notice and the mere fact that you haven't yet signed the contract is the reason you wouldn't, you really should consider providing the asked-for notice--it is only month, after all.


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