Putting in my Notice: Do I Have to Work 2 More Weeks?


After working three years for an abusive supervisor, I’ve had it. I’m giving notice tomorrow.

The last straw was yesterday, when he grabbed my arm and shouted at me when he confronted me in the hallway over a project that he insisted I hadn’t completed. I had but he didn’t like the finished product.

I don’t know how I’ll be able to work through the two weeks’ of notice I’m required to give. What are the consequences to me if I don’t work them?

Please don’t tell me to go to HR or any senior manager for help. I’ve sought help from both and never received any. I know my company’s executives will consider me a traitor if I don’t work out my final two weeks, but they’ve never helped me deal with my supervisor when he’s come into my office, like he has several times, and leaned over my desk shouting at me.

I don’t have a job lined up. What do I do if I get a horrible reference from this man and HR also pans me? 


If your supervisor grabbed you, he may have violated your organization’s code of conduct, policy against harassment, and/or policy against workplace violence. In many organizations, grabbing an employee’s arm is a terminable offense. It may even constitute criminal assault.

I’d suggest you visit your HR officer again, explain to them he grabbed you and that you wish to negotiate a mutually acceptable last day of work that doesn’t forfeit any rights you would be entitled to if you work the next two weeks.

If they want you to finish up projects, you can offer to do so IF you’re allowed to work from home.

You can also confirm with your HR officer your company’s policy regarding references.

 No federal law requires that an employee give notice. Notice is only required if an employment contract or company policy requires it. Even then the notice requirement can sometimes be excused. I called two employment attorneys on your behalf. Both said that your supervisor’s conduct and the failure by the company’s HR officer and senior management to do anything to stop his behavior may waive any two weeks’ notice requirement.

Other situations that might waive a two-week notice requirement include where a workplace environment so hostile that no reasonable person could be expected to continue working there.

While the lack of a supervisor’s positive reference presents a problem, you have several options. If you have positive references prior supervisors and others in senior positions in your most recent organization, a prospective employer may not even call your most recent supervisor. Alternatively, if you have performance reviews documenting your positive performance, these carry more weight than a letter of reference.

Please let me know what happens when you visit your HR officer.

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One thought on “Putting in my Notice: Do I Have to Work 2 More Weeks?

  1. Your comments gave options and hope–and that is what this person in a seemingly untenable position needs–and they offer steps toward action, which also are good.

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