I'm on paid parental leave in California in the United States. What considerations do I have to or should I make if I'd like to leave my job right after parental leave?
Do I legally have obligations to keep working for a certain period of time?
Do I have moral or ethical obligations to keep working for a certain period of time?
Is there a certain company expectation or industry standard or cultural understanding for me, the violation of which might "burn bridges" or cause animosity by my employer or boss towards me?
I never imagined taking leave and then leaving right when I get back, but I'm in a situation where I think I'd be a better fit elsewhere.
Note that the paid parental leave is 16 weeks, which is incredibly generous--something I've never gotten before. I feel bad taking all this pay to care for my family, and then abandoning the company right after.
Note that this site says technically I can quit even without coming back to work first, which sounds crazy to me, and which I'm very skeptical of because I might be missing some fine print somewhere or something:
You're not legally required to return to work after maternity or paternity leave. You can quit your job at any time, for any reason. Unless you are required by contract to stay in your job for a certain amount of time, you’re an at-will employee and are legally entitled to quit.
In fact, the law does not even require that you give notice before quitting, although many employees choose to give at least two weeks’ notice as a matter of courtesy.
Detailed background information for my particular case: Should I tell my superior I'm thinking of leaving now (start of paid parental leave), after finishing paid parental leave, or when I have a new job?