Should I Give Notice If That Might Get Me Fired?


My husband recently got a job out of state and we have to move. I want to tell my employer that I will be leaving in a month so that I don’t have to be secretive about everything, but in the past when an employee has given notice, they have been escorted out of the building without pay for the time for which they gave notice.

My fear is that I will tell my boss and she will tell me to leave and I will miss out on a whole month’s pay. If she tells me to leave before the end of my month’s notice, has she fired me? Would I be eligible to collect unemployment? I work in New York City.


Soon to be unemployed


Dear Soon to be unemployed:

The intricacies of employment law makes it difficult for me to know about your specific circumstance. You can find information on the subject at: Other’s may have information that is easier to read!

Based on what I know about such matters, unemployment insurance is provided by the state to help you as you look for other work. You are not intending to work in your state and will not be available for other jobs even if they were offered. Therefore, you would likely not be eligible anyway. However, I am not an employment attorney and may be mistaken about New York’s requirements.

Your decision will require you to weigh several issues. The size and nature of your organization has a lot to do with it. And, the circumstances around what has happened to other employees may make a difference in your response. For example, if an employee is leaving to go to work for a rival company, it is common to not have them continue employment. That prevents them from taking secured material or using the time to develop a contact file or whatever. In that case, unemployment insurance doesn’t matter, because they will be employed before it could start and won’t be eligible after that.

In your case, you aren’t going to be employed immediately, so they might view it differently. Is there an HR section you could ask, under the guise of wondering about it for another time? If you are doing a good job, it seems unlikely they would jump on a request about some time in the future, and force you out based on that.

If you do decide to give them notice you might want to put it in writing and send multiple copies within the organization, so you aren’t only dealing with one person’s decision.

In your letter state the circumstances of your leaving and express regret. Cite your good evaluations and the fact that you have enjoyed being a positive contributor. Say that you are committed to contributing fully during your remaining time and will be happy to not only finish up any remaining work, but to help in training someone else. You might say you will use the time to not only do your regular work, but to develop written guides for the next employee. (Or whatever fits your specific situation.) Make sure you are clear that you will be working fully, right up until your last day. Many employers say that once an employee gives notice, they might as well be gone because they do nothing after that. Prove them wrong, if you get a chance!

You may one day want a positive recommendation, so it seems that the courtesy of giving some notice is important. I understand your fears about it, however. I do believe that a willingess to be there to the last, earning your salary and providing the work that is needed by your organization, will be a very good argument in your favor.

Best wishes as you decide what to do. And especially best wishes in the enjoyable challenge of a new start in a new state!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.