Am I Legally Required To Give Two Weeks’ Notice In Florida?
You have probably heard that it is common courtesy to give at least two weeks’ notice before quitting a job. By giving an employer plenty of notice you can help to preserve a positive relationship. Of course, giving two weeks’ notice is not necessarily possible or practical in every situation.
You may be wondering: Is it legally required to give two weeks’ notice before leaving a job in Florida? The short answer is ‘no’—though two weeks may be necessary if you signed an employment agreement. In this article, you will find an overview of the most important things to know about Florida’s at-will employment standard and notice.
Florida is an At-Will Employment State
As a starting point on this issue, it is important to emphasize that Florida is an at-will employment state. This is not uncommon, as almost every U.S. state uses an at-will employment standard. As described by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSC), at-will employment means that both employers and employees have the right to end their relationship at any time. Here are two key implications of at-will employment relationships:
You are Not Legally Required to Give Two Weeks’ Notice: While giving a minimum of two weeks’ notice before leaving a job is generally considered to be a best practice, it is not required by Florida state law. As an at-will employee, you have the right to leave your position when you choose to do so. Still, it is a good idea to try to give advance notice to your employer when possible, as doing so can help to preserve a positive reference in the future.
Your Employer is Not Legally Required to Give You Notice: On the flip side, your employer is not legally required to give you two weeks’ notice either. An employer can end an employment relationship when it chooses to do so. That being said, employers cannot fire or lay off workers for illegal reasons—such as discrimination or retaliation. An employee who loses a job on unlawful grounds may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful termination claim.
Potential Exception: An Employment Agreement
The at-will employment law holds for all employees who have not signed an employment agreement. If you have never signed an employment contract, your employment is likely at-will and you probably have the legal authority to leave your position at any time, with or without notice.
However, if you signed an employment contract things can be a little bit more complicated. In some cases, employment agreements require an employee to work for a certain number of years and/or to provide a certain amount of notice before leaving a position.
If you breach an employment agreement, there could be consequences. It depends entirely on the specific terms and structure of your contract. In some cases, a breach of an employment agreement could require an individual employment to return a signing bonus or face other penalties.
Also consult your employment handbook which may require a notice period. Often these notice requirements in employee handbooks come with penalties for forfeiting paid time off or vacation hours.
Get Help From an Employee Rights Attorney in Florida
Employees have important workplace rights under state and federal regulations. It is important that you know how to protect yourself. If you have any questions about notice or wrongful termination claims, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Florida employment lawyer for help.