A woman perfectly explains why "two weeks' notice" is dead

Originally published at: A woman perfectly explains why "two weeks' notice" is dead | Boing Boing


From a fairness perspective you’re absolutely correct. But unfortunately for people who are hoping to use the employer as a future reference it may still make sense to depart on good terms. They can sometimes hold a degree of power over you even after you leave.


that is theoretically why unemployment taxes exist. the businesses pay into a pot that the government keeps in stead. in practice, it takes too long to start getting payments; it’d be easier if they came straight through existing payroll


i once requested a two week vacation. My day before the vacation was to begin i put in my two weeks notice.


I was just talking to a coworker about this. She said the company she works for (we work for different contractors on the same project) specifically forbids this. I told her she’s not required to give any notice but the employer is required to pay out PTO as those are considered wages. I mean they can ask you to not but typically you are under no obligation.


I thought that this standard practise basically died with Gen X, which was acutely aware of the extreme imbalance between employees and corporations.


Well, yeah. This is making me think of all the ways employers try to create a relationship between employees and the company (“like a family”) that just exist as ways of exploiting their labor, but workers really get brainwashed into buying into some of that. When in reality, it’s entirely one-sided.

Although presumably if you’re leaving with no notice, it’s because you have a new job, and it’ll be your future reference.


fwiw, assuming i’m leaving on good terms, and that i liked the people i worked with, i think of those 2 weeks as a favor i’m doing my co-workers as they might suddenly get stuck doing a job that they have little experience doing. and i realize that there’s a certain amount of privilege there.


As an employer, trust me when I say, your reference from me is never going to be worse than, “Yes, he/she worked here.”

If I absolutely loved you and want to help you succeed, I might saw something nice BEYOND that, but trust me that is rare and I will NEVER say anything worse than that.

The slander liability just isn’t worth it. At. All.


Most larger companies do not give references anymore - positive or negative. HR will only confirm details about your employment and that’s it. Individual managers may offer personal recommendations but that is general unsanctioned by the company now.


I say use the traditional mechanic’s notice: your employer finds out you’re quitting the moment your buddy shows up with his truck to help you wheel your toolbox out of there.


I’m sensing there are some extra shitty businesses out there. I have never worked for a company that did not give at least that much pay, if not actual notice, to people laid off who were laid off (not “for cause” like workplace violence or whatever).


For many companies, as soon as you hand in your resignation notice you’ll be escorted to the door. So you better have your exit planned out and not in dire need of that “2 weeks notice” pay.

TBH, the whole 2 weeks notice seems like a waste for everyone. Unless you work for a small company there is no way they’re going to find your replacement in 2 weeks. Hell it will probably take 2 weeks for them to work up the requisition for your replacement.


As an potential employer, when someone’s reference says “Yes, he/she worked here.” I suspect you view that as a potential red flag.

Either way, I’ve always used co-workers and/or managers as references. I’m not sure how I’d use the “employer” themselves, maybe asking the owner at a particularly small firm? Either way I tend to think of references in their personal capacity rather than representatives of their employer.


If I am still employed by a company a former employee is asking for a reference from, I can not and they must speak to HR. If a former employee from a past job asks for a reference, and I agree, it’ll be glowing and not a liability problem for anyone.

I once was offered a job by a company that sought outside references, but then let me know what was said by them after the fact. I believe the folks trying to hire me thought this was building some sort of trust. Clearly, I did not want to work for them. While doing a miserable job with their company, they did manage to violate people’s trust up and down the board. That’s pretty Venture Backed in my book.


In 1994, I scheduled a week’s vacation (my first days off in 18 months, and unpaid). They laid me off at the same time, with 2 weeks notice. (several others were laid off at the same time)
They said, OK, make it it 3 weeks notice.

Every job since then, when my company has done layoffs, it was instantaneous. That’s just how it is anymore.


If I’m leaving a company on good terms (e.g., because I got a better offer or just want a change of pace) then I’m going to do the company the courtesy of two weeks notice.

I’m going to do this for two reasons. First, I work in an industry where the odds are high that I may encounter those same people again either at a different employer or because I want to come back to the same company, so I want to leave on good terms. Perhaps more importantly, though, I believe in treating others the way I’d want to be treated, even if I don’t necessarily expect they would return the favor.

On the other hand, if I’m leaving over something like harassment or unethical behavior, I’m out the door 5 minutes from now. The good people I work with will understand, and if they don’t then I don’t want to work with them again anyway.


Here in Germany, it’s common to require a month or three month’s notice. My wife has a senior position at a German company and they have to give her six month’s notice.

But it works both ways - she has to give them six months as well.


I advise young people who are leaving a workplace on good terms to get a generic dead-tree letter of recommendation from their direct supervisor on company letterhead. However, when that’s an option the question of the employee giving notice is usually moot.


I find that most European countries have labor laws favorable to the workers, or at least not antagonistic. The United States has seen companies lobby and litigate to ensure the workers are at a serious disadvantage. When I worked for a large international telecom and we needed to desperately cut cost – France and Germany were almost off limits for downsizing due to worker protections and the cost of letting folks go. The US saw thousands of people laid off.

Layoffs don’t require severance but are eligible for unemployment in the US. Small severance payments became standard (2 weeks) to keep class action lawsuits or mass arbitration blitzes like Twitter is suffering from happening. Elon decided labor laws don’t matter. Paying the severance always comes with an agreement to let go of all other claims against the company when those layoffs happen.