I recently received a new job offer, which I would like to accept.

However, I feel pretty confident that if I give my two weeks' notice, my current employer will let me go on the spot. I can't afford to lose two weeks of pay. Should I give notice? Could I collect unemployment if they immediately terminate me?

I live in Wisconsin. Any advice would be helpful.

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    I don't understand how the non-compete is relevant to your question. I would edit that part out of the question and its title if I were you. Apr 13, 2016 at 1:53
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    If you can't afford two weeks without pay, you have a bigger problem than your current situation. What would you do if your employer let you go for any other reason, without you having a new job lined up? Start saving up an emergency fund covering three, better six to twelve months' typical expenses immediately. Apr 13, 2016 at 8:49
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    You could ask your new employer if they'd be willing to let you start immediately if you unexpectedly become free.
    – Rup
    Apr 13, 2016 at 9:35
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    @Brandin I meant the other way round: OP: Hey new job, I'm on two weeks notice at my old place so I can start in two weeks. New Job: OK. OP: But if they don't want me to work my notice I might be free to start the day after tomorrow. If that happens can I start working for you the day after tomorrow, not in two weeks?
    – Rup
    Apr 13, 2016 at 10:47
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    @gnasher729 "Is the employer allowed to fire you when you gave notice? In many locations the answer to that would be "no"." - In many locations, particularly in the US, the answer to that would be "yes".
    – David K
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:42

4 Answers 4


I feel pretty confident that if I give my 2 week notice they'll let me go on the spot and I can't afford to lose 2 weeks of pay. I'm not sure if I should choose not give 2 weeks notice

You might choose to talk with your new employer ahead of time.

Tell them that you are about to give your 2 weeks notice and that you are concerned that your current employer will let you go on the spot. Ask them if you could start sooner, should that happen.

Then give your 2 weeks notice and proceed accordingly.

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    Very pragmatic answer. I like it. Apr 13, 2016 at 19:00

Your biggest indicator is what has happened with other people. In my experience in these cases people were walked out on the spot, but still paid the two weeks.

Do you have any accrued paid time off or sick leave you will be owed? That might help with the gap.

Also, does your company pay to the date or is pay deferred a week, so in other words if Friday was your payday are you paid for this week or is the paycheck for some previous time period. All these may help. I am paid every other Friday for the 2 weeks that ended one week prior. This is more common in hourly shops where it takes time to process timesheets.

You can approach the new company, but often times it is a lot of work to set start dates (depends on size of company and bureaucracy) so they may not be able to accommodate, be prepared.


Do not give notice unless it is unambiguously clear that the notice will be respected.

If you have any reason to even suspect your employer would fire you for giving notice, then do not give notice. Simply leave on your last day.

You can only claim unemployment if you were "laid off", in other words let go for budgetary reasons, which is not the case here. Also, applying for and receiving unemployment is humiliating and time-consuming. Since you have a job lined up, you would probably not qualify for unemployment anyway, but in any event it would probably not be worth it just to try to collect two weeks worth of unemployment.


I've witnessed several situations where employees who were going to competing companies were shown the door right when they gave their notice. In one case, the manager thought it was "ok", but HR had him escorted out minutes later.

Re: Unemployment, I'd think that's not valid "cause" for termination, so you could probably try to apply, but there would be a gap before you could get paid. (IANAL)

My experience is for another state, I don't know Wisconsin unemployment policies, but for my industry, the employees have times where there is forced short-term unemployment, and they're able to get a check from the state for about 25% of their lost pay.

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    How did HR know those employees were planning to go to a competing company when they gave their notice? If they had kept their mouths shut, would they have stayed around for the whole notice period?
    – Brandin
    Apr 13, 2016 at 8:13
  • The manager was probably required to report notices to HR.
    – Xavier J
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:39
  • Well, HR needs to know that you give notice so that it doesn't come as a surprise to them when you are actually leaving. There's work for them to do before you leave, and your notice gives them a chance to do it in time.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 14, 2016 at 8:26
  • god i hope this happens to me. I work in a "secretive" industry so would not be surprised if I get walked out immediatly. That'll give me 2 weeks free time
    – confused
    Oct 9, 2020 at 2:14

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