Ghosting Vs. Quitting: Do I Have To Give Two Weeks Notice?

Whether you are fed up with your job or ready to make a career move, you should still give proper notice to your employer instead of disappearing on them.



When you’re fed up with your job, do you give two weeks’ notice or simply stop showing up to work? For most people, there’s really no choice; you talk with your manager and resign by giving your two weeks’ notice. After all, communicating about your intentions is the ethical thing to do.

But lately, there’s been a growing incidence of ghosting.

Ghosting—often referred to as silent exits—are on the rise. In fact, according to Visor, 84% of his employees have ghosted employers or potential employers before. However, it's not a great practice, especially if you plan to look for another job. 

If you are an employer looking to prevent ghosting, check out our employee retention checklist.

Listen as HR expert Natalie Soltero discusses ghosting, silent exits, and how to handle leaving a job.


Are you an employer looking to prevent ghosting?

It's much more efficient to retain talent than it is to recruit, onboard, and train a new employee. Our experts have put together an employee retention checklist just for you.


Ghosting vs. Quitting

Ghosting, not to be confused with quiet quitting, is a term that refers to an employee never returning to work and completely cutting off communication with their place of work. You don't inform your employer that you're leaving. In other words, you disappear entirely, and your employer and sometimes your co-workers have no way of contacting you.

Quitting has the same end idea as ghosting (permanently leaving a place of employment), but it involves more communication. You decide you are done with a job, talk to your manager to give your two weeks' notice, and transition out of the job with a clear end date.  

Am I Required By Law To Give Notice Before Quitting My Job

No State or federal law in the U.S. mandates you to give your employer any notice before quitting. However, different terms apply for at-will and contract employment.

  • At-will employment: This agreement states that your employment is for an indefinite period, your employer can fire you at any time, and you can also quit whenever you want.
  • Contract Employment: If you have an employment contract, the terms of the contract may apply unless you are leaving for good reason. When you fail to provide enough, you might need to give up benefits such as unused vacation leave.

Although your company can't sue you for quitting without notice, be courteous enough to communicate your intentions of leaving. Even if you can't wait to leave, it's wise not to burn influential bridges that you may need in the future. 

How Quitting Without Notice Can Come Back to Haunt You

  1. You May Lose Out On Unemployment Benefits

Ghosting your employer disqualifies you from receiving unemployment insurance from the government. This State insurance provides individuals weekly pay for up to 26 weeks from when they lose their job.

However, you'll still be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit with reasonable cause and fail to give notice. Most States recognize the following as good reasons to quit:

          • A medical emergency such as illness, disability, or injury
          • Domestic violence at home
          • Harassment and unsafe working conditions

2. Your Employer May Withhold Or Delay Your Final Paycheck

The law prohibits employers from withholding employees' wages even if they quit without notice. However, ghosting your employer may leave them bitter, and they may intentionally delay your last paycheck. 

If this happens, contact your State's labor department, and they will ensure you get your wage. To avoid such confrontations, it's best practice to give a two-week notice, and your employer will have to pay you before your last official day.

3. Ghosting Might Jeopardize Your Future Employment Opportunities

Quitting without notice can prevent you from getting a good reference from your past employer. You might not know how valuable a good recommendation is until your dream job requires you to submit a recommendation letter from your previous employer.

Moreover, news about your ghosting may get around, and a potential employer might hear it. In this case, they might consider you an unreliable person they can't trust.

The Importance Of Giving A Two-Week Notice Before Quitting Your Job

It's a great practice to provide a two-weeks notice for the following reasons:

  • Helps your employer avoid extra expenses due to your resignation
  • Prevents you from burning bridges and ensures your part with the company is on good terms
  • Provides you with enough time to wrap up your projects, which may earn you a recommendation letter from your employer
  • Allows your employer to find a replacement to take over your role
  • Lessens the strain on your co-workers since they won't have to be burdened by extra responsibilities when you leave without notice

Reasons You Might Not Want To Give A Quitting Notice

While it is best practice to provide a two-weeks notice, certain circumstances might prevent you from doing so. They include:

  • A manager harassing you
  • A toxic work environment that puts your mental health at risk
  • A situation that puts your physical health at risk
  • A supervisor or manager who is discriminating against you based on gender, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, or disability
  • A family emergency that needs your immediate attention
  • A colleague has been physically abused
  • A manager who forces you to perform unethical or illegal acts

If any of these apply to you, consider leaving with only one week's notice or no notice.

How To Prevent Your Employees From Ghosting You

In today's world, it takes more than a good paycheck to keep employees at your company. Workers need a safe work environment with a good culture. 

Moreover, constant ghosting from your employees may take a toll on your finances since it's costly to hire and replace new employees. That's why your best strategy is to find ways to increase your employee retention rate by keeping the following in mind:

  • Create a positive work environment that celebrates employees' success
  • Provide them with the necessary tools and resources for their respective roles
  • Organize career training for your employees to ensure they constantly grow
  • Make sure your employee's opinions  are heard and show them that they are a valuable part of the company

For more information on how to keep your employees engaged and discourage ghosting or quitting, check out our employee retention checklist.

Stratus HR: The Solution To Employee Ghosting

If you struggle with high turnover and employees who ghost you, Stratus HR can help you determine the root cause and provide resources to improve workplace culture. We’ve been in business for over 20 years, and our team of experts will absorb your administrative HR work so that you can focus on creating a great work culture.

Hear more about our best practices and how we can help you create a foundation for happier employees by booking a free consultation.

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