Two Weeks' Notice

Definition

The term two weeks' notice refers to the notification sent to an employer when an employee renders their resignation.  Two weeks' notice is considered the workplace standard; however, there may be reasons for providing more, or less, notice to an employer.

Explanation

When resigning from a company, an employee will normally provide their employer with two weeks' notice.  This allows the company a reasonable amount of time to transition the employee's work to another associate.  It also provides the employee the opportunity to start working for their new company in a relatively short timeframe.

Providing an employer with two weeks' notice is standard protocol when resigning, unless an employment contract or union agreement outlines this obligation.  While an employer may ask an employee to stay longer, employees are not required to work beyond what may be outlined in an agreement or the standard two weeks. 

Under certain conditions, it may be acceptable for an employee to provide less than two weeks' notice, including:

  • The employee needs to immediately attend to a personal or family crisis
  • The employee is being subjected to physical, mental, or sexual abuse while on the job
  • The employee is being asked to do something that is unsafe, illegal, or unethical
  • The employer has stopped paying the employee their salary for an unreasonable amount of time

Note:  Unless required by a contract, an employer is not obligated to accept the two weeks' notice, and some employers will immediately terminate an employee upon receipt of their resignation.  Anyone rendering their resignation should be prepared to leave the company immediately if asked to do so.

Related Terms

resignation, resignation letter, pay in lieu of notice