It is customary to give two weeks' notice to an employer before leaving, but many people in New Jersey have a common question about this. Is this mandatory? Well, it really depends on a number of factors.
When you are transitioning from a job in the state of New Jersey, employees should know exactly what they are in for, their rights, and what they are required to do during the process.
Below, we will discuss employment law, what you should do when you plan to leave a job, and more. If you are unclear about your own situation, discuss the details with a New Jersey employment law attorney, such as Brandon J. Broderick. With years of experience, we can give you the advice and legal help you need.
What is Two Weeks' Notice? I've Never Heard That Term
Two weeks' notice is probably exactly what you think it is. It is a two-week period you give your employer before you leave your job. If an employee gives their employer a two weeks' notice, it allows the company time to find a replacement before their departure. Usually, when a two weeks' notice is given, someone has been offered a job and notify their employer that they are leaving.
A two-week notice is standard in most workplaces, and it is customary to notify your supervisor. We suggest this be done face to face, even if it makes you feel awkward. It is not necessary to tell your employer why you are leaving. It is entirely up to you how in-depth you want to explain your reason.
New Jersey Has At Will Employment
New Jersey adheres to a policy of "employment at will," which states that an employee can be fired for essentially any reason. This is standard in the majority of states in the United States. While this may seem harsh, there are numerous exceptions that may serve to shield you from a wrongful termination.
Employment at will is a two-way street. It is assumed that you also have the right to resign for any reason and can do so without giving your employer any notice. Your employer has the same right to fire you.
While employers generally expect you to give them a two weeks' notice before quitting, there is no law that forces any employee to do so. However, you need to think about your decision if you plan to not give a two weeks' notice. It is customary if you value fairness, wish to leave on amicable terms, or anticipate needing a reference from your employer.
Exceptions to Employment at Will
Generally speaking, employees are free to leave their jobs at any time, but there are some exceptions that can apply. There are, in fact, far too many exceptions to mention individually. We have, however, outlined some of the more noteworthy exemptions that apply in New Jersey.
An employment contract that either secures your job for a set amount of time or restricts your employer's ability to terminate you is the most obvious exception to employment at will. A one-year guaranteed contract or one that specifies "cause" as the only basis for termination are two such examples.
The ability of your employer to fire you is limited by laws put into place to protect employees from wrongful termination. Companies cannot legally terminate workers on the basis of the following:
- National Origin
- Marital Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Military Status
There are also laws in place to shield workers from being fired if they report illegal activity or violations of the law.
Employees of state and local governments are also protected from termination for exercising their rights under the United States Constitution, including their First Amendment rights to free speech and religious expression.
Severance compensation is a perk that's guaranteed in some cases by both business policy and individual contracts. This is an exception to the general rule of employment at will, as it may safeguard some of your earnings in the event of an unfair termination.
In a similar vein, the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) ensures employees are given advance notice of certain mass layoffs or reductions in force, so they are not caught off guard.
Specific Employee Categories
There are also large groups of workers that do not qualify as "at-will" employees. Employees in civil service are protected by specific laws, while union members are protected under a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") and other labor regulations such as the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").
What Should I Do If I Was Wrongfully Terminated?
Consult a lawyer who specializes in New Jersey employee law if you're not sure what to do after what you believe was a wrongful termination. Depending on the circumstances, you could be eligible for a substantial settlement.
With the help of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, thousands of employees across New Jersey and the surrounding states have been able to seek justice and hold their employers accountable for illegal activities. When an employee has a legal issue, we do everything possible to see that they are compensated fairly.
Give us a call today to set up a free consultation with our New Jersey employment law attorneys.