There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Quit
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2014 – At-will employment means an employer may terminate a worker any time for many reasons. An employee may also quit any time for any reason, but should do so with respect and courtesy if possible.
“If you are thinking about quitting your job, make certain you know if you live in an at-will-employment state, such as Illinois,” indicated Chicago employment attorney, Timothy Coffey. “For instance, in virtually all states, with the exception of Montana, workers are presumed to be at-will employees, unless the employment terms fit an exception to the prevailing rule, such as remaining on the job successfully for the first six months, in which case you are then a regular employee.” For workers that do have an employment contract, they must give appropriate notice and follow the terms of their contract should they wish to quit their job.
Workers who have verified that they are at-will employees may be able to quit their jobs on the spot, should they have safety, legal or moral issues driving them to quit. If that is the case, they do have the right to leave, if they are indeed an at-will worker. There is no requirement to provide a reason or offer an explanation. However, giving notice does allow an employer to replace you and may result in a favourable job recommendation for another work position. There are of course situations where a worker does not wish to seek a reference from what they view as a less than stellar employer. Each situation is different, but generally speaking, if there is some consideration given to the employer in relation to providing notice of quitting, it may bode well for the worker later if they make a reasonable attempt to leave on good terms.
“Despite the fact that you may not want to stay around at a place where you no longer want to work, make every effort to respect the employer’s property. Do not take home office supplies, any company property, client information, business records or anything you are uncertain about taking and do not make the common mistake of revamping your resume or applying for jobs from your work computer,” added Coffey. Even if an individual is an at-will worker and can leave at a moment’s notice without explanation, it is worth showing common courtesy when quitting.
An important point to note is that quitting without notice means an employer is not mandated under federal law to offer a paycheck right away, the day the individual quits. However, in some states, state law dictates a final paycheck must be proffered immediately. If a worker is not paid the day they quit, they must be paid by the next regular payday and if that does not happen, the employee is entitled to file a complaint with either their state labor department or the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
THE COFFEY LAW OFFICE, P.C.
351 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60654
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