Two Weeks’ Notice Going the Way of the Dodo?

By: Attorney Bryan T. Symes – Weld Riley, S.C.

Recently, published an interesting article [the columnist even uses the word “miscreants,” which alone is pretty exciting in my view], through which the columnist suggests that employee-provided two weeks’ notice of separation may become a thing of the past.   The brief, engrossing article is available here: [].

According to the author, in response to several contributing factors [e.g., strong economy, tight job market, perhaps shifting norms concerning employee loyalty], but especially because, anecdotally, some employers are now demanding immediate start dates—employees increasingly fail to provide full two weeks’ notice of separation prior to walking out.    This emerging practice has apparently caused at least one HR professional to feel “flabbergasted.”    The article got me thinking—maybe some of my clients are feeling a bit flabbergasted as a result of this practice too.   Naturally, as a “solutions” guy—I set out to help stave off the extinction of two weeks’ notice.    

Here’s my thought—condition the payout of earned but unused vacation/PTO leave, at separation, upon the provision of two weeks’ notice.    If you’re reading this post, and thinking to yourself, gee thanks Captain Obvious, you may be surprised to learn that most businesses I encounter in my law practice do not do this [sometimes, despite my standing recommendation to do so].   However, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development allows employers to adopt clearly-articulated personnel policies that will result in the loss of earned but unused vacation/PTO leave under certain circumstances—such as lack of proper notice, misconduct or unsatisfactory job performance.   In other words, the practice of incentivizing two weeks’ notice is a completely legitimate practice.   So…why not take advantage of this tool—who wants to be all flabbergasted anyway.  Not me!  

We’re here to help if you have any questions about “best practices” in this area.

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