This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Can My Boss Make Me Work After Initially Saying No?

Question from Anon, Can My Boss Make Me Work After Initially Saying No?

Answer from AI:

When you decide to leave a job, it’s common practice to give a two-week notice. This period is meant to give your employer time to find a replacement or redistribute your workload. However, situations can become complicated if your boss initially tells you that you don’t need to work your full notice period, only to change their mind later. Understanding your rights and obligations in this scenario is crucial.

Understanding At-Will Employment

In the United States, most employment is considered “at-will,” meaning either the employer or the employee can end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without notice. However, this general rule has exceptions, and the specifics can vary by state.

What Does the Law Say?

There are no federal laws requiring employees to give any notice to their employer before quitting, nor are there laws that force employees to work during a notice period if they choose to resign. However, there are a few considerations:

  1. Employment Contracts: If you have an employment contract that specifies the conditions of leaving, including a notice period, you might be legally obligated to adhere to those terms.
  2. Company Policy: Some companies have policies regarding notice periods. While these are not laws, they could have implications for things like final paychecks or eligibility for rehire.
  3. State Laws: Some states have specific laws regarding notice periods and final paychecks. It’s important to check your state’s labor department for relevant information.

Documented Statements from Your Boss

Having written documentation of your boss’s initial statement that you don’t need to work after a certain day is valuable. It can serve as evidence of your understanding and agreement at that time. However, the enforceability of this agreement can be complex and may depend on the nature of the documentation and the specifics of your employment agreement.

Steps to Take

If you find yourself in a situation where your boss changes their mind after initially telling you that you don’t need to work your full notice period, consider the following steps:

  1. Review Your Employment Agreement and Company Policies: Check if there are any clauses related to notice periods and resignation.
  2. Consult with a Legal Professional: For personalized advice, it’s best to speak with a lawyer who specializes in employment law. They can help you understand your rights and obligations based on your specific situation.
  3. Communicate with Your Employer: Try to have an open and honest conversation with your employer. Explain your position and refer to the documented statement from your boss. It’s possible that a mutual agreement can be reached.


While your boss can request that you work the full two-week notice period, the enforceability of this request depends on several factors, including any existing employment agreements, company policies, and state laws. Having written documentation of your boss’s initial statement is helpful, but it may not be definitive in all cases. If you’re unsure about your rights or the best course of action, consulting with a legal professional is strongly recommended.

For more information on employment rights and notice periods, you may find the U.S. Department of Labor’s resources on termination helpful. Remember, each situation is unique, so it’s important to seek advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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