A TikToker recently went viral after saying that her employer rejected her resignation letter. Her job basically told her that she would have to stay beyond the date she indicated would be her last day. It got me thinking, can a job here in New York force an employee to continue working?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a new trend of "quiet quitting." But, what does it mean? According to Investopedia,

Quiet quitting refers to doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. As such, it is something of a misnomer, since the worker doesn’t actually leave their position and continues to collect a salary.

Rather than actually quitting a well-paying job with good benefits, employees who are fed up for whatever reason may decide to quiet quit instead of actually resigning frtheir positions.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

New York Is An Employment-At-Will State

New York is an employment-at-will state, according to Legal Beagle,

As an employment-at-will state, New York allows employers to fire employees for any reason and without notice.

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An employer in New York State can actually fire you for something that might be unfair or without any justification. Usually, any rules or laws that are applicable usually favor the employer, not the employee. With that said, since your job can legally fire you in New York without cause, can you quit without cause?

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

According to Legal Beagle, just like a company's right to fire you without cause, you can quit without reason,

Similar terms apply to employees who want to resign from their jobs. While giving a certain amount of notice, such as two weeks, may be a common courtesy, it is legally the employee's prerogative.

Even if you quit by walking off the job, your employer must pay you for all the time you worked up until that point. Keep in mind though, that your company may have a policy in place that specifies resignation terms,

Companies in New York may establish policies for employees to follow when resigning from a job. These policies typically are in company handbooks or guidelines that employees receive when starting work.


Policies may require employees to provide a certain amount of notice or face punitive actions such as the forfeiture of compensation for unused vacation time or a negative final evaluation in their personnel file.


Under no circumstances may an employer withhold wages for time an employee has worked. Without clearly establishing a policy, the employer may not impose any conditions on an employee's right to resign.

Keep in mind, however, if you are under a contract, there may be stipulations in the document that affect your ability to quit abruptly. You may face legal threats or action from your employer.

If you feel your worker's rights have been violated, you can contact the New York Attorney General.

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