Do I need to give two weeks notice to my employer?

No. Under California law, it is not required for an employee to give a two weeks notice letter to his or her employer.[1] California believes firmly in at-will employees meaning the employer and the employee have the ability to leave at any time without giving your employer two weeks notice.

Alert: Copy and Paste 2 Weeks Notice Letter, below.

Exceptions. There are certain exceptions may require an employee to give two weeks notice. If your company’s policy requires a certain time frame of notice, it must be followed. Further, if you have signed an employment contract and a notice requirement for leaving is stated, then that must be followed as well.

Although not required in California, a two weeks notice letter may be required by your company’s policy or your contractual employment agreement. If notice is not required by either, it still may be in your benefit to create a two weeks notice in CA. A two weeks notice in California may be a tricky decision, consulting an employment attorney may be a great option before taking certain steps in your termination.

To give notice or to not give a two weeks notice in CA?

If your employment contract and your company’s policy does not require notice, should you still give notice?

This can be a tricky question because on the one hand, given notice shows professionalism and respect for your cohorts and supervisors. However, if there is no requirement of notice and you do give notice, there is a possibility the company may play dirty and fire you instantly or soon after.[2] This is a risk you take in these scenarios. The best advice is to really understand your own company, speak to those who have left, get some feedback on what has happened when previous employees made that decision and how and why they chose to give notice or to not give notice.

If you feel you may want to come back to the company, giving notice will leave a good impression on your peers and management. This allows the team to find your replacement or at least puts them on notice that the search needs to begin.

How to write a two weeks notice letter.

If you do decide to give notice, it is important to handle it professionally. Ensure your letter includes your end date specifically. You may explain why you are leaving but it is not expected nor will it really do much besides feed people’s curiosity. Also, it is not advantageous to state any negatives or opinions of the company as you are departing because you do not want to end up in a messy lawsuit or end in bad blood. The best advice is to keep the letter short and sweet; state you are leaving, give a date, and maybe an ending salutation. The point of a notice letter is just that: to give notice of your departure in a professional matter.

Simple Two Weeks Notice Letter Example copy and paste

Every person who resigns has a unique set of facts and should consult with an attorney about writing a two-week notice letter. Generally, a two weeks notice letter may be as follows:

Jane Doe (Employees name)
Employee’s address | Phone Number

January 1, 2021 (date of your letter)

John Hancock (Supervisor’s name)


111 Birch St., San Francisco, CA 94110

Dear Mr. Hancock,

It has been a pleasure working with you and ABC Company. I value the time and commitment the company has shown me.

Please accept this letter as a two weeks’ notice of my resignation from ABC Company. My final day as an employee will be ___________ [date].

I will continue to be an exemplary employee until my employment ends. Please let me know what I may do to help during this transition.


Jane Doe

Should I consult a lawyer about a two weeks notice letter?

If you are feeling uneasy about your decision of whether to give notice or not, consulting a lawyer may be a great option. He or she can read through your contract and/or company policy to make an educated decision for you on whether or not a notice letter would be in your best interest or if it is required. Moreover, the lawyer can also help draft the letter.

However, if you are suffering from certain harassment at work or feel unsafe, a lawyer would be a great asset. Sometimes employers unfortunately do not have their employees’ best interests at heart upon departure and may try to force you to sign away your rights. A lawyer can better prepare you for this decision and explain how to handle it.

Legal Reference

[1] California Labor Code § 202

[2] Labor Code, § 2922