Q. A resigning employee gave us two weeks’ notice, but we decided to terminate the employee right away instead. Are we obligated to pay the person for those two weeks he gave notice for? — S.F., Texas
A. No. Generally, an employer is not required to pay an employee once he or she is terminated, even if the employee has given notice. Thus, while employers must pay an employee for all hours worked, they are not obligated to pay an employee for the two weeks that the employee does not work if he or she is terminated immediately upon resignation.
The situation is different if the parties have an employment contract or a labor agreement requiring notice of resignation. If the employer has a policy requiring two weeks’ notice prior to resignation, the employer may have established a contractual obligation to either allow the resigning employee to continue working for the two weeks following the date of the resignation notice or to pay the employee until the two weeks are up.