Q: I told my boss that I will be leaving in a few months to go to school. She told me to put in my 2 weeks notice now and she will start to look for my replacement. I still want to work for the next few months. Can she make me quit?
A: Your employer cannot force you to quit, but if you don’t, you may be fired. Assuming that you are an employee-at-will and not under an employment contract, you can be terminated for any reason not protected by law. While it was nice of you to give your employer advanced notice, your employer’s main concern is profit. They do not want to be in a situation where they are understaffed. If they find someone to replace you, they will. You now need to focus on your best interests.
If your employer wants you to leave earlier than what you had in mind, try to negotiate a severance package to make yourself close to whole or at least what you would collect from unemployment compensation. If you quit your job, you may not be eligible for unemployment compensation (see below). This can be a benefit for your employer because, depending on the state, an employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate can increase if their employees file claims. By quitting, you may be helping your employer with their tax rate. If this makes a difference to your company, use this to your advantage in severance negotiations.
If you quit, you may not be eligible for unemployment compensation. Depending on the state in which you live, unemployment compensation may only be available for employees that were terminated for reasons other than misconduct. It may be in your best interest to tell your employer that you plan to continue working up until school starts so that if you are fired, you have a better chance of collecting unemployment compensation. If you are fired, ask for a termination letter. Your employer does not have to provide one, but try because it will help in your unemployment compensation application.
If your employer is not offering severance, it is best to stay in your job as long as possible. If you feel that you are about to be fired or forced to resign, do what you can to protect yourself. If you are still unsure how to proceed, speak with an employment attorney in your state.
The words and other content provided in the blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as professional advice (please read the Terms and Conditions for additional information). These articles and answers are only generalizations as you have not been interviewed and asked questions that would shed light on your specific situation. In addition, our provision of this information to the reader in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.