The summarily dismissed worker could also file for unemployment benefits for the two-week period, which could affect your unemployment insurance rates.
If these limitations don't apply to your situation, and you're concerned that your departing employee may create a negative impression with clients or coworkers, employment at will lets you send the employee home as soon as he or she gives notice.
When to Consider Immediate Dismissal With Pay
Some employers faced with an employee giving notice opt to pay the employee for the two-week period he or she intended to work. This course of action helps forestall the thorny problems we mentioned that can arise with immediate dismissal, but also eliminates concerns you may have about the employee hanging around during the resignation period, such as stealing clients or trade secrets, or simply badmouthing the company and distracting other employees.
Allow 2 Weeks’ Work to Boost Morale, Smooth Transition
In some cases, however, you may want to let your departing employee serve out his final two weeks, even if there is no legal cause to do so.
Remember, terminating employees when they give notice sends a message to other employees, who may choose to leave without warning when they find a new job. While employment at will gives you freedom to fire employees, it gives employees equal freedom to resign with no notice.
If the employee is in good standing and can be expected to work diligently until departing, allowing the final two weeks signals your commitment to the remaining employees.
It also allows the employee to alert clients of his or her departure, to shift responsibilities to colleagues, and to provide training to those colleagues. If the employee has been a valuable contributor and you have confidence in the person's integrity, this option helps make for a smoother transition.
For more information on employment at will, employee handbooks, and other employee management issues, visit us at our website HR360.com