The once-revered two weeks’ resignation notice may be going by the wayside. Among other trends like ghosting, workers now feel much less inclined to provide notice before accepting a new job. What’s more, according to Austin Kaplan, an employment lawyer in Texas, providing two weeks’ notice isn’t legally required.
“Once you’ve left the company, there is no benefit to the employer for talking smack about your performance,” Kaplan told the Washington Post. “It’s an urban myth that you have to give two weeks’ notice and that if you don’t, you’ll get in trouble.”
He said that employers run the risk of defamation lawsuits if they speak negatively about former employees during reference checks. Instead, what’s more common, is providing neutral reviews wherein the employer only verifies the employee’s salary, title and time of employment.
This reduced notice trend is being driven, in part, by the near record-low unemployment rate–there are more jobs available than people to fill them. In the past year, David Lewis, chief executive of OperationsInc, a national human resources consulting firm, told the Post that he’s seen a 20-percent increase in employees giving notice, but leaving much sooner than two weeks later.
“It’s absolutely being directly impacted by the unemployment level, the lack of available talent and the number of positions companies are trying to fill,” Lewis said.
He also said that while it may be risky for employers to negatively review former employees, bad employee reputations can spread quickly–and employees who dash out the door may be losing out on money.
“Companies are coming to the rapid conclusion that it will take them months to replace certain people,” he said, “so give them time to make a counter offer.”
In the Post piece, readers were asked to share why they didn’t provide two weeks’ notice before resigning. Responses centered on hostile work environments and stunted opportunities at the companies they left. One person said that at least four times he was ghosted by employers after a great interview (and multiple follow-ups).
“It’s no wonder employees just walk out one day and never look back,” he said.