Quit Your Job

Two Weeks’ Notice: What You Need To Know

If you’re working for someone, you’ve likely come across the term “two weeks’ notice”. At some point, you might be wondering, “Where did this practice come from? Is it a rule you must follow? What if your boss doesn’t accept your two weeks’ notice? And what is the difference between resignation and two weeks’ notice?”

These are some big questions we’ll answer in this article. We’ll make this topic easy to understand, whether you’re a boss or someone considering quitting. 

What Is a 2 Weeks’ Notice?

Two weeks’ notice is a formal way of notifying your employer that you’ll leave your job in two weeks. It allows the company to plan and find a replacement for you. Providing two weeks’ notice also speaks volumes about your professionalism as an employee, so it’s important to take the time and effort to do it properly.

When giving two weeks’ notice, attempt to set up a face-to-face meeting with your boss or human resources department first. This way, you can explain why you’re leaving as well as provide whatever information they need without disrupting other colleagues in the office. Make sure to provide your written resignation letter during this meeting if possible.

Your resignation letter should include what day will be your last day of work and offer any help in transitioning out of the role quickly and professionally. You should also thank them for their support throughout your employment there and state that if there’s anything else they require from you before then, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Regardless of how long or short your time at the company has been, always keep in mind that professionalism is key when giving two weeks’ notice – even if it may not feel like it’s deserved! Keep things professional by maintaining communication until the end so everyone involved feels respected and appreciated.

Who Invented The 2 Weeks’ Notice?

The two-week notice is not something that a single person invented. It is a social norm that has evolved over time.

The two-week notice period has been customary for employees leaving their job since the 1940s and 50s. The origin of this custom is unclear, but it is likely when large companies began formalizing their human resources practices.

Is 2 Weeks’ Notice Mandatory?

Two weeks’ notice is not mandatory but a professional courtesy widely accepted in many industries. 

The at-will rule allows employers and employees to terminate employment without any notice. However, some employment contracts may require advanced notice, which can be legally binding. 

Although it is very common for employers to require two weeks’ notice, they may request more than just two weeks. For example, it is not uncommon for businesses to ask managers and supervisors to provide at least four weeks’ notice because it often takes more time to hire and onboard a replacement.

Can A Job Deny Your 2 Weeks’ Notice?

Yes, an employer can deny an employee’s two weeks’ notice. In most parts of the United States, the concept of “at-will” employment is prevalent, meaning that either party—employer or employee—can terminate the relationship anytime, for any reason, as long as it is not illegal. This includes the employer’s rights to instantly end the employment contract upon receiving a two weeks’ notice from an employee.

Let’s be clear—giving two weeks’ notice is more of a professional courtesy than a legal obligation. This common practice aims to provide employers sufficient time to identify a suitable replacement and ensure a smooth transition of duties. Nonetheless, no federal laws mandate employers to respect or adhere to this notice period.

There could be various reasons for an employer to decline a two weeks’ notice. For example, if the employee is joining a competitor, the employer may limit their access to sensitive data during their notice period or may let them go straight away.

However, employers must be careful when dismissing an employee immediately upon receiving their notice. If the employee is under a contract that specifies a notice period, or if company policies or state regulations apply, the employer might face legal consequences for failing to honor the notice period.

An employer can also reject your two weeks’ notice by requesting you to prolong your stay. This is to help facilitate a smoother transition, particularly if the employee plays a crucial role or possesses unique skills that are not easily replaceable on short notice. The employer may require additional time to find a suitable replacement or to let the departing employee train their successor.

However, the employee is not legally bound to accede to the employer’s request for an extended stay. The two weeks’ notice is a courtesy, not a legal obligation, and the employee has the right to exit after this period if they decide to do so.

Read More: Do Companies Pay Out Vacation Time When You Quit? Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Resignation Vs. 2 Weeks’ Notice

The difference lies in the fact that a resignation is an act of formally resigning from your role and departing definitively, while two weeks’ notice is more of a notification or announcement of an impending departure. It allows for time to find another person to fill the role and also provides some level of closure between employer and employee.

In respect of resignation letter and two weeks’ notice letter, the difference is minimal, as they are often used interchangeably. However, a slight difference is that a resignation letter can be more comprehensive and may not necessarily specify a two-week notice period.


You’ve now learned the basics of two weeks’ notice, its origin, whether it’s mandatory, and how it differs from resignation.

You know that employers can deny your two weeks’ notice either by asking you to leave immediately or to stay longer. You need to know your rights to deal with this situation. 

Ultimately, giving two weeks’ notice is a respectful way to transition out of a job gracefully and without burning any bridges. Be sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity as you go!

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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