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  1. #1
    HRE0927 is offline Junior Member
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    Termination upon two week notice

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MONTANA

    Employee is planning on leaving for another job, start date at this time is unknown. Employee has been at this job less than 6 months. The HR manager has stated that they will terminate any employees upon receiving their two week notice. I know most states have "at will" employment and can terminate employees at any time, but I am under the impression that MT has different labor laws.

    In MT, can an employee be terminated for giving a two week notice, and does the length of employment matter?

    Thanks!
  2. #2
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HRE0927 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MONTANA

    Employee is planning on leaving for another job, start date at this time is unknown. Employee has been at this job less than 6 months. The HR manager has stated that they will terminate any employees upon receiving their two week notice. I know most states have "at will" employment and can terminate employees at any time, but I am under the impression that MT has different labor laws.

    In MT, can an employee be terminated for giving a two week notice, and does the length of employment matter?

    Thanks!
    According to the Montana Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act (WDEA), in order to avail oneself of the protection from being fired for other than good cause, the employee must first have been employed at the company for at least SIX (6) months, unless the employer has an established probationary period, in which case WDEA rights kick in once probation is over.

    Does the company have an established probationary period, and if so, has that probation passed? Is the employee under any other kind of disciplinary actions, or have they done anything that at which they might be found at fault, and therefore may be subject to termination for cause?
  3. #3
    HRE0927 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you. I thought the less than 6 months employment might apply. The employee has not been disciplined as far as I am aware, so that would not be a reason for termination. I am not sure of a company probationary period, but I do know they do a 2 month review. Could that be considered a probationary period?

    So you are saying if it is determinated that there is a standard company probationary period, and it is less than 6 months, that could that supercede the WDEA? Meaning, if their standard probationary period is 2 months, and he is past that, he couldn't get terminated for the 2 week notice?

    There are other employees that have definitely been there longer than 6 months that will be affected by this issue. If they are terminated, what would their next step be? Two weeks' pay surely can't be worth filing a lawsuit, but could they file for unemployment benefits for the two weeks that they lost?

    Thanks!
  4. #4
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    There is a obvious solution to this. Simply do not give any notice. After the last day worked, the employee should send an email or leave a voicemail with their manager saying that they quit effective immediately, and the reason they did not give the standard 2 weeks notice is because they did not want to be fired. Once management sees what a disruption this causes they will insist the HR manager change the policy.
  5. #5
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, an employer in MT, and every other state, is allowed to accept an employee's two week resignation early without allowing the employee to work out their notice. In NO state, including MT, is an employer required to allow an employee who has resigned to work out their notice?

    Would you like to know why that is?

    I thought you might. I'll tell you.

    A few years ago, my then-employer fired an employee for good and sufficient reasons, after plenty of warnings. Unfortunately, they had only just hired me and I hadn't started yet, or I wouldnt' have allowed them to do it this way; they allowed her fifteen minutes to go back to her desk, unescorted, to "say goodbye to people" and gather her personal belongings.

    In that fifteen minutes, she:

    1.) Deleted several key files
    2.) Did $2000 worth of damage to the computer system
    3.) Cancelled the travel arrangements for all the senior management for the balance of the calendar year (It was October). We had three offices in three states - those boys and girls travelled a LOT

    FIFTEEN MINUTES.

    Can you imagine how much damage an employee who was so inclined could do in two weeks?

    You are mistaking the acceptance of a resignation early with a firing.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  6. #6
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    You are mistaking the acceptance of a resignation early with a firing.
    I realize there is a distinction but the average employee will not see it that way. They will see it as getting punished for giving notice which is the accepted thing to do in most industries. They will see it as being fired.
  7. #7
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Which is why I was explaining that it is not.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    I realize there is a distinction but the average employee will not see it that way. They will see it as getting punished for giving notice which is the accepted thing to do in most industries. They will see it as being fired.
    what the employee sees and what the law sees do not have to be the same but the only one that matters is what the law sees.
  9. #9
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    what the employee sees and what the law sees do not have to be the same but the only one that matters is what the law sees.
    In terms of legality you are correct. In terms of the operation of the company, how the employees view it (right or wrong) matters a lot.
  10. #10
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    In terms of legality you are correct. In terms of the operation of the company, how the employees view it (right or wrong) matters a lot.
    Um, we are on a legal forum are we not?

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