What Are My Rights When Leaving a Job?

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What Are My Rights When Leaving a Job?

employee packing up a box with belongings

Leaving a job can be exciting, nerve-racking, or stress-inducing depending on the circumstances. Whether or not you decided to leave your company or you were let go, there are certain rights that you are entitled to. If your employment rights are violated when leaving your job contact an experienced Atlanta employment agreements attorney for assistance.

What is At-Will Employment?

At-will employment is a mutually beneficial relationship between an employer and employee. Most workers in the United States are at-will employees, meaning that your employer can terminate your employment for any reason and at any time but you are also entitled to quit your job for any reason and at any time. While many people believe they are required to submit a two-week notice when they are going to quit it is a courtesy, not a legal obligation.

While your employer can fire you for any reason, there are a few limitations. For example, your company cannot terminate your employment based on:

  • Your race, color, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic that is protected under antidiscrimination laws
  • Your association with a union
  • As retaliation for complaining about unsafe working conditions or reporting illegal activities

Some employment is contract-based and therefore not at-will. The duration of the employment will probably be outlined in a contract so the employee cannot quit and the employer cannot fire them until the contract expires.

What Rights Do I Have When I Leave My Job?

The rights you are entitled to when you leave a job will largely depend on the company you are working for. There are some federal and state laws that dictate certain conditions for the termination of employment, but companies often have their own policies regarding an employee’s departure.

  • Severance pay: While it is not legally mandated, your company may offer severance pay for an employee who is let go. If it is written in your contract, included in an employee handbook, or is a precedent set by your employer with previous employees, you may be entitled to a severance package that contains compensation, insurance benefits, and more.
  • Your final paycheck: You are legally entitled to the full extent of the money you earned. While some states require employers to provide a fired employee with their money immediately, Georgia state law requires employers to provide an employee’s final paycheck on the next scheduled payday. This is true whether the employee quits or is fired.
  • Unused vacation time: This will depend on your company’s policies. Some companies allow you to be compensated for unused vacation time through an additional paycheck while others may not offer compensation at all. Many employers require a two-week notice in order for an employee to receive vacation time.
  • Retirement funds: Any contributions that you made to a 401k or other retirement account are yours for the taking. You have earned and contributed to that compensation. When you leave your job, depending on the amount of money in the account, you can either leave it alone and collect it later or roll it over into a new account with a new employer.

Our Philosophy

Our firm hand-selects challenging, complex cases that other attorneys won’t touch so we can deliver the highly-personalized attention your case deserves. From consultation to trial, we advocate for employees’ rights, every step of the way.

Our Principle

We base our practice on the principles of service and care. We take the time to truly know each and every client, and we put all of our energy into obtaining the best outcome possible, time and time again.

Our Definition Of Success

We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

 
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