Leaving Your Job? Know Your Rights!

It’s not uncommon for working adults to decide to switch careers or quit one job for another opportunity. Turnover is a hard fact in the working world, but it is a fact all employers have to come to terms with. The problem with an employee leaving their job, however, can stem from leaving suddenly, and without  an understanding of the repercussions they could face – on things like paychecks, benefits, project results, credentials, and other aspects of employment.

Before you leave your job, here’s what you need to know so that this can be a smooth transition.

Your Work

When you leave a job behind, you also leave behind all projects you completed while holding that position. You were in a work-for-hire role, and that means all your work is the property of the company. This also includes the relationships you developed with clients of the company during that employment. Don’t even think about stealing an idea, a process, or a client from your former employer. Also, be sure to note any non-compete agreements you may have signed as part of the terms of your employment, because you may be limited in what types of jobs you can take on for up to two years after you leave your job.

Your Benefits

When leaving a job, you are generally entitled to retain many of your employment benefits. COBRA is a law that allows you to continue your health benefits for up to 18 months following your departure from a job, however you must pay the group rate out of your own pocket. Additionally, if you were eligible and paid into a Health Savings Account, you can take this money with you when you leave a job. If you are leaving a job because of a work-related injury or illness, then you could also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or disability benefits.

Your Paycheck

In most cases, you will be getting a final paycheck sometime in the two weeks after you leave your position. If you owe the company any money, such as for equipment, uniforms, or paid tuition, you could end up having to write a check to the company when you leave. Be sure to settle up with the company and talk with the payroll department before you leave the job. Your final paycheck may include all final hours worked, including overtime, and remaining paid-time-off not used. If you are being laid off or fired from your job, you may also be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Your References

It is within your rights to ask for a professional letter of reference when leaving a job. Ask for this as soon as possible and request that it be put on company letterhead. Also, future employers have the right to check your work references and they can only ask for your dates of employment, your job title, and if you are eligible for rehire. Anything else is considered illegal when checking work references.


If you have questions about what your legal rights are when leaving a job on your own accord, you are welcome to speak with an employment attorney or head for your local workforce development office. For any and all help with your job search needs, contact Advance Staffing Solutions today!










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