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Does an employer have to provide notice before termination?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2023 | Employment Law

There is a general rule in the world of business that employees should give at least two weeks’ notice before quitting a job. However, this is not a legal requirement in most cases. Only under a contract would employees have to provide notice.

The same is true for employers. Without a contract, your employer does not have to provide you with any notice of termination.

The at-will situation

The reason why giving notices before quitting a job or before an employer lets you go is not a requirement is because non-contract jobs in Illinois are at-will. The concept of at-will employment assumes that you and the employer entered into an agreement willingly with the knowledge there is no permanent commitment and the agreement could end at any time.

No notices required

While giving a two-week notice is a common practice, it is not mandatory. Your employer cannot do anything if you do not give notice. This also applies if your employer gives you no notice. You cannot claim wrongful termination just because there was no notice.

An exception

There is an exception to at-will employment termination. An employer cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons. Because of this, most employers will have a reason behind the termination and evidence to back up this decision. If you feel your employer let you go because of discrimination, then you may have a good wrongful termination case.

Due to at-will employment, your employer can end your employment at any time without giving you notice. Still, this does not excuse the employer from discriminatory practices, which fall outside the at-will laws.