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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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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. – Paul Brown Nov 7 '12 at 17:17
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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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

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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@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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