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Dear Headhunter,
My current employer has a reputation for firing employee’s on the spot when they give their two weeks notice. One employee was asked for the keys to his company car, was told to call his wife for a ride home and was walked out of the building by security. Is an employer obligated to accept the notice and pay the salary for those two weeks? Is it legal to refuse?

Thanks, Weak-kneed to quit

Dear Weakee,
When you have accepted a new job, try to arrange a back-up start date with your new employer, in case your current employer doesn’t accept your two-week notice. Many employers will start your employment immediately if you are cut the day you give notice. A silver lining may be that if you don’t need the money, taking the time off without pay can be a good time to relax and reset your goals for your new job. Legally, an employer can fire you on the spot, without notice, with or without a reason. The legal flip side is that an employee can quit without giving any notice. The rule of giving two weeks notice is just a professional courtesy. The exceptions are a union or personal employment contract that regulates the terms of termination.

The bottom line is to always give proper notice because it’s in your best interest. Don’t burn a bridge you may need later.


Dear Headhunter,
I have a question regarding relocation and a job search. I’m currently employed in Southern California and very satisfied with my current employer and career path. However, I am interested in relocating to Northern California for family, quality of life, etc. During the past few months, I have received zero job interviews. I have remained busy conducting informational interviews and attempting to network. The feedback I have received is that local candidates will always be interviewed before a person outside the area. I am not interested in a relocation package. I do not need, or expect, financial compensation to relocate my family.

How can I make potential employers comfortable with this fact? How can I get past this hurdle? I am confident once am granted an interview, the job is mine! Please give me some ideas.

Thanks, M.R.

Dear M.R.,
The local candidates will be interviewed and hired first, if qualified. Companies want the hiring process to be quick, inexpensive and hassle free. Relocation expenses and the time required to move puts you at the back of the line, and in today’s job market, it’s a long line. To get on even footing, write a strong, but short, cover letter stating you will pay all your relocation expenses and if hired you can start at once and your wife will take care of moving the family.

Next, you need to take some days off; the best are Mondays and Tuesdays and go to Northern California to interview in-person. Call or e-mail your target companies stating that you will be in their area interviewing (even if you don’t have interviews confirmed) and you would like to meet with them. Since you are in town at no expense to them, they are more likely to see you.
Good Luck on your search!

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.