Protecting The Best Interests Of Commercial Clients In The Construction Field And Other Industries

Can you require employees to give notice before quitting? 

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2023 | Business Law |

It is certainly frustrating for a business owner if employees quit without giving any warning. If you find yourself in this position, you might suddenly be scrambling to replace that employee. It’s very natural for company owners to ask employees to give a notice of at least two weeks before they leave their position.

But can you require this? Is there any way to ensure that your employees have to give you advance notice before they quit?

Do they have a contract?

You can force employees to give notice before quitting, but only if you give them an employment contract. If they sign a contract agreeing to this, then they are bound by the terms of that contract.

However, from a legal standpoint, there is no other obligation. There is no requirement in the law that employees give any advance notice at all. If they are at-will employees, meaning they do not have an employment contract, they can quit at any time that they want.

Some company owners will create a handbook or a company policy stating that notice has to be given. You can certainly request that your employees follow this policy, but remember that simply making it a policy at the business does not make it a law. In the absence of a contract, an employee could simply ignore the policy and quit at any time. All that they really risk is not getting a good recommendation in the future. 

How can you set this up?

If you do decide to use employment contracts, it can be a bit more complicated than at-will employment. Be sure you know what legal steps to take if you want to set these up to use with your employees.