Many people will give two weeks’ notice to their employer before they leave their position. They see this as a courtesy, and it gives their employer a little bit of time to find someone to replace them.
However, some companies will also set up a policy saying that they require this amount of notice. There are even companies that will try to mandate a longer period of notice than two weeks. Are employees actually required to provide notice, or is it just an example of common courtesy?
There is no legal obligation to give notice at all
If your employer tries to tell you that you have to give them advance notice, they’re not being honest with you. There’s no legal room requirement to do this under at-will employment laws. You are legally allowed to quit whenever you want, with or without notice. Your employer can create a policy if they would like, but that just demonstrates their preference. It’s not legally binding in any sense.
The only real problem that you create if you quit without notice is that your employer is probably not going to give you a good reference in the future. But if you do not care about having that reference, or perhaps do not need it, then you are not obligated to tell your employer in advance. You could simply call in on the morning that you’re supposed to go to work and tell them that you are quitting immediately and you will never be back.
Unfortunately, employment disputes sometimes arise due to a lack of understanding of this rule. Be sure you know exactly what options you have so that you get everything you are due and your rights are protected.