Since almost every state in the US is a Right to Work state, why do company employment agreements always say you must or are required to give X number of weeks notice before leaving a company? "Must/required" denotes mandatory. Due to the Right to Work laws in the US, one can leave a job at any time, giving notice or not.

Is there a reason for this strong wording, even if it is not legally binding?

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    What gave you the idea it isn't legally binding? They can't make you work, true, but that doesn't mean there are no consequences. – Nelson May 14 '18 at 3:27
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    @Keltari I am not US based, so it's highly unlikely that I have answered questions on Right to Work. The simple fact is that if you are sure, why are you asking the question on Stack Exchange? If you have employed a lawyer to confirmed your specific contract, then you already have your answer which would make your asking here rather moot. If you haven't confirmed your specific contract, you are still basing on hearsay and aren't completely convinced. – Jane S May 14 '18 at 4:29
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    @Keltari From what I can read, your "right to work" laws (which do NOT exist in "most" states, but exactly half of them) are mostly concerning unions (eg. not allowed to only hire union members, etc.) ... We don't even know in which state you are. How can we possibly help you? And if the only thing your lawyer told you is that this law exists, this statement is worthless for your problem here. – deviantfan May 14 '18 at 4:36
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    Are you an attorney? What is your basis for a contract is not legally binding? – paparazzo May 14 '18 at 8:11
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    Are you confusing Right to Work with At-Will? – Daniel May 14 '18 at 13:57

You are conflating "right-to-work" and "at-will".

Right-to-work means that you can't be forced to join a union in order to get a job.

At-will means that the employer can let you go for any reasons as long as it isn't for a discriminatory reason. It also means the employee can quit at any time.

But if you sign an agreement, also known as a contract, then these rights change. What they have to pay you if they let you go with zero notice, or what you may owe them if you leave without giving proper notice can be addressed in the employment agreement. It can also specify a time period. The agreement is where items such as continuation of benefits, and severance pay are covered. That is also where post-employment issues are addressed.

  • With a contract, you can also negotiate terms of it such as asking if they can equally give you a notice period so there's a vice versa. Wouldn't hurt to ask. – Dan May 14 '18 at 12:55

Even if there isn't anything to let them legally force you to give/serve out a notice period they can use carrots and sticks to encourage it.

eg if you just say "today's my last day" at 4:59pm and then walk out the door you can forget about getting a good reference from the place in the future. At my current employer giving 2 weeks notice is a requirement to have any unused vacation days paid out.

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