Q: How do I keep an employee at-will but require them to give notice before leaving?
A: Unfortunately, an employer may not simultaneously utilize the at-will employment provisions and require that an employee provide notice ahead of separation. Instead, we recommend requesting that employees provide notice as a professional courtesy so that you have time to make plans for their replacement or cover their duties, making the transition smoother for their co-workers and customers.
Beyond this, you may remind employees that their notice (or lack thereof) will be taken into consideration should they seek re-employment with the company or should a future employer seek an employment reference. If a future employer contacts you for a reference check, you may share that the individual quit without notice, or did not provide sufficient notice ahead of their separation per the company’s request.
While you can’t require at-will employees to give notice, giving these reminders may encourage employees to provide notice ahead of their departure.
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