Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human-resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society.
The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor's answers below have been edited for length and clarity.
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Question: What are the ramifications if I don't provide two weeks' notice in leaving a part-time job? - Anonymous
Johnny C. Taylor Jr.: If your company has a policy requiring two weeks' notice, it is important to follow the policy.
Contracts aside, there is no legal requirement to provide this notice. But leaving without providing adequate notice - even for a part-time gig - can tarnish your professional reputation. You also could lose rights to benefits such as accrued paid leave or a planned bonus and could be risking your positive reference. Additionally, it might make your soon-to-be employer question whether you'll do the same in the future.
The reason employers typically ask for two weeks' notice is to allow enough time to reassign work while the company looks for a replacement and to provide the departing employee a period to tie up projects and complete any unfinished work.
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Giving adequate notice is a professional courtesy that aids both you and your employer.
Even as a part-timer, your departure has an impact - one greater than you might think. If you exit immediately, it leaves your employer scrambling to find a replacement and co-workers covering your shift and/or duties until someone new is hired.
If you are in a unique circumstance that requires you to part ways early, try discussing options with your current manager. As an example, if your new position is also part time, you could consider working both jobs for a short period.
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Is your future employer pressuring you to start immediately? If so, consider why and whether it's a company you want to work for. Good workplaces will respect your decision to do right by your current employer.
Just as you wanted to make a good first impression at work, you also want to leave a positive final impression.
Q: I've gone on work-related trips. My employer expected me to rent a car with my personal credit card, with reimbursement by the company later. I'm uncomfortable renting a car in my name, as it could be a liability risk. How should I handle this? - Linda
Taylor: Anytime you rent a car while traveling for business, it will be in your name - even if your company has a business account with the rental car agency.
To get peace of mind, talk with your HR department or supervisor about the company's travel policies and your concerns.
Your employer might have general liability insurance, which would provide coverage if you are involved in an accident in which someone is injured, and many large companies have commercial auto insurance that covers traveling employees.
For added protection, you could purchase supplemental liability insurance from the rental car company for about $10 to $15 a day. Be sure to check with your supervisor or HR person to confirm that your employer will reimburse you.
Most personal auto insurance policies cover rental car liability, even when one is renting a car for business. Check whether your personal policy includes it. Also check with your credit card company to see what coverage it provides.
Beyond concerns about liability, there's also the question of convenience.
You might ask your company if it would open an employer rental car account. Such an account would provide discounts and rewards and would offer billing options such as charging an employee's rentals to a company-guaranteed account or sending a monthly bill directly to the employer.
Business travel is why some employees are issued company credit cards. Ask if one is possible where you work, especially if you travel frequently.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What happens if I don't provide two weeks' notice for leaving my job? Ask HR