If my employee quits and provides four (4) weeks advance notice, do I have to let her work through her selected date of termination?
Generally no, not under federal law or any other law that I have heard of in the U.S., or not unless you have a policy that creates a contractual entitlement for the employee to work the entire duration of her notice. This is an issue of at-will employment and your rights as an employer are not diminished or altered just because the employee provides notice of her termination on a future date.
For operational and/or cultural reasons, you may want to allow the employee the opportunity to work the entire duration of notice that she provided. You may also find that after two (2) weeks the employee lazing around the business has become a morale killer and waste of wages. The employee might have provided such a long notice of termination in order to use up her paid time off, which routinely happens at companies that do not pay accrued and unused paid time off at the termination of the employment relationship. Throughout, unless you've given up your authority otherwise inherent under the concept of at-will employment in some manner, the decision to allow or not allow the departing employee to work through her chosen date of termination likely remains with the company.
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