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This question is kind of a multiple part question. Lets assume I were to give my two week noticed today on November 7th, 2012.

  1. Is the two week notice strictly 10 works days, or the end of two work weeks (and if two work weeks, does this partial week count as one of those weeks or does it need to be two full weeks)?
  2. If it is 10 work days, does the day of the notice count? Lets assume I give the notice the first thing in the morning right when my boss walks in the door.
  3. How do planned vacation days or holidays affect the this two week period?

I live in Ohio in the USA and I work as an exempt computer programmer.

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Also to clarify, I work your typical Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm job. I mostly want to remove the ambiguity of "week" vs "5 days". – CincinnatiProgrammer Nov 7 '12 at 16:00
I've never known anyone to pick the definition apart at such a fine level. Is there any reason why the ambiguity is a problem in your case? – NickC Nov 7 '12 at 17:11
I'm an engineer, I need everything spelled out for me :P I'd like to be able to give a new employer a concrete date for the first day of work before delivering my resignation (like during my acceptance call). I felt it would look good to be on top of things and could save a phone call later confirming the start date after my resignation. – CincinnatiProgrammer Nov 7 '12 at 17:17
@NickC: I had to pick it apart once when I resigned a job. I already had planned to take a couple extra days off over a holiday weekend when I submitted my resignation. However, I gave 3 weeks notice to (more than) make up for the days I would be away. My direct boss still tried to revoke my planned days off, citing a policy that employees weren't supposed to take leave during their notice period; fortunately HR and his boss over-ruled him, since I had given more than the required notice and I was still putting in more two weeks worth of work. – GreenMatt Sep 22 '15 at 19:51
@GreenMatt Your previous boss was a moron. You could've easily said, "Whelp, since it is such a problem getting my vacation worked in, let's just say today is my last day. In fact, I'm leaving now." Good for you getting out of a bad shop. – BryanH Sep 22 '15 at 20:26
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Unless you have a contractual obligation in the US you can define when your notice period is.

Typically if you were to give notice today (Wednesday Nov 7 2012) you could set your Final day of work as (Tuesday Nov 20 2012) or later and most companies would consider this sufficient notice. If you provided notice on a Monday then the Friday of the next week would be acceptable as final day of work(assuming a Monday-Friday job).

If you have a contract you will need to look at the contract to see your obligations. I have had a contract that said that I needed to provide a notice period of at least 14 days and that my final week should end on the last normal work day of that week. In that case your final day from above would probably be Wed Nov 21 2012 since it is a holiday on Thursday and Friday. If the location does not consider those days holidays then the final day would be Nov 23 2012.

There are no laws I am aware of in the US that oblige you to provide a full two weeks notice. I have known people who have given notice of less than 2 weeks. Many companies will mark an employee as not eligible for rehire if you do not provide sufficient notice.

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Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving are holidays for me. I am still in my search for a new job so hopefully I can avoid having my two weeks containing a holiday but this is good to know. I will definitely give at least a two week notice and make sure my company is content with the length of my notice so I don't burn any bridges (even if it means adding an extra day or two), thanks. – CincinnatiProgrammer Nov 7 '12 at 16:08
Watch the inclusion of holidays. They can decide that your last day is the day before the holiday and then not pay you for the holiday. They can also decide that the day you give your notice is the last day, and escort you out the door. – mhoran_psprep Nov 7 '12 at 17:30
@mhoran_psprep - They can but if they choose to end your employment before the day you have given notice for you may be eligible for unemployment, and possibly other compensation. Though when leaving for a new job few people bother with the hassle of fighting for it. – Chad Nov 7 '12 at 17:44
@mhoran_psprep It seems to me them letting me go right away would only work to my advantage considering it would let me start my new position sooner rather than later anyway. – CincinnatiProgrammer Nov 8 '12 at 14:51
@PaulBrown - It is so long as you can either start your new job earlier or can afford the time off with out pay between the jobs. – Chad Nov 8 '12 at 20:06

I don't think it matters much, as long as your employer agrees on the end date. If I gave notice on a Tuesday morning, I'd probably tell my employer that the following Friday would be my last day.

If I needed to train my replacement, or complete a project, I would probably offer to stay the full 2 weeks or longer, depending on the amount of work remaining.

The most important thing is to leave on good terms, and avoid putting your employer in a tough spot if possible.

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Unless you have a contract, the employer has no say in the end date, especially in "at will" states. Remember quid-pro-quo; something-for-something. If they can walk you out the door at a moment's notice for no reason, the opposite is true also. – BryanH Sep 22 '15 at 20:29
@BryanH right -- by "agrees on the end date" I was only thinking in terms of a good-faith effort to honor the traditional two-week notice, which would improve one's position with regard to professional references in the future. You're correct that technically you can leave whenever you want. – mcknz Sep 23 '15 at 2:19

Two weeks is two weeks - 14 days from the date on the notice. These are not business days.

So - if you give it on Monday the 2nd, the end date is Monday the 16th.

In regards to morning or evening - it doesn't matter. What matter is what the actual letter says (ie. I am giving my two weeks notice starting on date - my last day will be two weeks later).

Planned vacation days/holidays are something you need to discuss with HR and you manager. You may be able to take them or may be required to work them in order to ensure a clean hand off of your responsibilities.

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Where I work they say we get "2 weeks of vacation" which is then 10 days so if I give 2 weeks notice that will also be 10 days. – Ryan Nov 12 '12 at 17:36
"if you give it on Monday the 2nd, the end date is Monday the 16th." Does that mean you come into work on Monday the 16th, or is Friday the 13th your last day? – Dennis Jun 11 '14 at 0:54
@Dennis - you come in on Monday. If you gave your notice on Friday, the last day of the month, then Friday the 13th the next month would be the last day you came in. – Oded Jun 11 '14 at 8:30

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