Two weeks notice

I recently gave my two weeks notice, my employer told me they would let me go at the end of that week, they did not want to pay me for the holiday shut down. My question is, since I gave two weeks are the obligated to pay me for the week the company shut down for Christmas, also I have not received my year end bonus do I have a right to that?

1 answer  |  asked Dec 27, 2007 11:45 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Nancy Grim
Two weeks notice

Sadly, no. You have encountered the "free enterprise" doctrine of "employment at will." (That is, both you and your employer are "free" to enter and leave the employment relationship at any time. )

It is not unusual (even where the handbook insists on 2 week notice) for an employer to accept the 2 week notice and then tell the employee to leave early. The (very small) Good News: You should be able to get unemployment benefits for the extra two weeks, even if you left voluntarily to take another job (because the early departure is not voluntary).

I assume that you do not have a written contract. Those are common only with a collective bargaining agreement, or with very high level employees (such as CEOs with "golden parachutes.)

Ohio statutes and common law require that you be paid your wages for time that you work. But if the employer decides to "let you go" early, the employer is not required to pay for time not worked, including holiday shutdown. But you will not be able to insist on the holiday pay nor the bonus.

I assume that you do not have a written enforceable promise that will entitled you to either. If you have a written policy about either, I suspect that it will say that the year-end bonus is paid to employees who have worked the entire year and that the holiday shut down is paid to employees who return to work after the shut down. Even if there is a written policy which is less clear, it is unlikely to be an enforceable contract. I have not seen an employee handbook in many years which did not include a disclaimer statement, "This is not a contract."

posted by Nancy Grim  |  Dec 28, 2007 3:15 PM [EST]

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