It happens to every employer: an employee decides to leave the company.
Sometimes, the employee leaves on great terms and finishes out a
two-week notice. Other times, unfortunately, a manager may wish for the
employee to leave right away. In the case of an involuntary early
departure, when does compensation for the affected employee end?
We had an employee give his two weeks’ notice, but the manager decided
to let him go immediately. We paid the employee through the last day he
worked, but he claims he should be paid for the two weeks he had planned
to work. What are the legal requirements here?
Answer from Jenny, HR Pro:
As long as you don’t have an employment contract with the employee, a
collective bargaining agreement that applies to the employee, or a
handbook policy that requires a certain period of notice, you may opt to
accept his resignation early.
You do not have to pay the employee for the portion of the notice period
during which he performed no work. So if he was a non-exempt
(overtime-eligible) employee, you simply need to pay him for all time
worked. And if he was an
employee, you only need to pay him his regular salary through his last
A final note: terminating the employee early without providing pay
through the unworked notice period is legal, but it may affect the
employee’s unemployment eligibility. The company will essentially be
turning a voluntary resignation into an involuntary termination.
Therefore, he may become eligible for some unemployment benefits.
her 15 years of experience, Jenny has specialized in helping small to
mid-sized businesses across a variety of industries reduce their risks
and manage employee relationship issues. Jenny holds a Bachelors of
Business Administration (BBA) degree in Human Resources Management from
the University of Georgia and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
degree with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Georgia
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