24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

California Resignation Law – Do I have to give 2 weeks notice?

California Resignation Law – Do I Have to Give 2 Weeks Notice?

So you’re thinking about quitting your job in California? Yeah, I feel you. Sometimes you just gotta move on. But before you storm outta there, you probably wanna know what the law says about giving notice.I gotchu covered. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:

You Don’t Have to Give Notice

First things first – there’s no law in California saying you gotta give any notice at all before quitting your job. For real. You can literally just get up and walk out the door if you want.I mean, that’s kinda harsh and your boss might hate you for it, but it’s not illegal. The days of indentured servitude are over, ya know? You’re free to leave whenever.So if you’re fed up and just can’t take it anymore, don’t let the law stop you from quitting on the spot. But also don’t be a jerk about it if you can help it. Give as much notice as you reasonably can.

Giving 2 Weeks Notice is Standard

Even though you don’t gotta give notice, it’s generally considered good form to give around 2 weeks. It’s like an unwritten rule of the workplace.Two weeks gives your employer time to handle the transition smoothly – finding someone new, finishing up projects, handing off your work, etc.It also lets you wrap up any loose ends on your side – documenting stuff, training others, transitioning your work, and saying bye to people.Giving 2 weeks notice is the professional thing to do. It keeps you on good terms with your employer. You never know when you might cross paths again.So if you can, try to give around 2 weeks notice. But again, you’re not legally required to.

What If You Have an Employment Contract?

Now if you signed some kind of employment contract with your employer, that could change things. Your contract may actually require you to give a specific amount of notice – like 2 weeks or even a month.If you agreed to something like that when you were hired, then you gotta stick to the terms of the contract. Otherwise you could be sued for breach of contract. Not fun.So double check your paperwork if you signed anything when starting the job. It should spell out any notice period you agreed to. If not, you’re in the clear.

Can Your Employer Make You Stay?

Once you turn in your notice, your employer can’t force you to stay longer against your will. Slavery is illegal, ya know?Like let’s say you agree to give a week’s notice, but then something comes up and you gotta leave after 3 days. Your boss can’t make you stay the full week if you don’t want to.Now they may guilt trip you. They may beg and plead. But they can’t physically or legally force you to stay.And they definitely can’t withhold your final paycheck if you don’t stay the full notice period. That’s illegal for sure.

What If You’re Fired After Giving Notice?

Sometimes bosses get pissed when you quit. It’s like you bruised their ego or something.In rare cases, they might fire you as soon as you give notice or tell you to pack your things and leave that day. Sucks, but it happens.The good news is they still gotta pay you for the full notice period, even if they kick you out early. So if you gave 2 weeks notice and they walk you out after 1 week, they still owe you the pay for that second week.It’s the law. Make sure you get all the money you’re owed.

Can You Take PTO During the Notice Period?

Giving notice doesn’t mean you gotta work every single day until your last day. You can still use PTO if you got it.Like if you have a pre-planned vacation coming up, there’s no law saying you can’t take that time off just cuz you gave notice.Or if you just need a mental health day or two during those last couple weeks, go for it. You earned that PTO, so use it if you want.Just don’t go crazy and take 2 weeks off if you only gave 2 weeks notice. Your boss will probably get pissed. Use your best judgment.

Unemployment Benefits After Quitting

If you voluntarily quit your job in California, you can still get unemployment benefits – you just gotta wait a little longer.Here’s the deal: You’re ineligible for unemployment for the first 10-13 weeks after quitting. But after that, you can start receiving benefits if you’re otherwise eligible.Just keep in mind you typically have to show you quit for a “good reason” like unsafe working conditions, harassment, lack of payment, etc. Quitting just because you felt like it could disqualify you.So don’t bank on getting unemployment if you quit your job on a whim. But if you had a legit reason, you’ll probably get it eventually.

Don’t Burn Bridges on Your Way Out

However you decide to handle giving notice, do your best not to burn bridges with your employer when you leave.It’s tempting to go out with a “screw you” attitude, but that can come back to bite you. Don’t trash talk them in your exit interview. Don’t slam doors and make dramatic scenes. Try to take the high road.You never know when you might need that job reference or even run into those people again later in your career. So be polite, be professional, and make as graceful an exit as you can.Then go celebrate your newfound freedom! On to bigger and better things.Alright, that covers the basics of giving notice if you wanna quit your job in California. Let me know if you have any other questions!



Person handing letter to employerCalifornia flag


How to Quit Your Job with Class


Tips for Quitting Your JobUnemployment Eligibility in California


Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck

Additional Reading

Schedule Your Consultation Now