Does Job Abandonment Go On Your Record?

Check Your Employement Records

Use your Name, Phone Number, Email, or Address to find information.


If you’ve ever left your shift at work without notifying your manager or simply didn’t show up for enough consecutive days in a row, that is often known as job abandonment. Many workers will give a two-week notice, but many abandon their jobs without giving that proper notice.

Most companies request or even require you to hand in a two-week notice if you want to quit, failing to do this means you’ve committed job abandonment, and depending on the state or the field it can have an impactful effect on future employment. 

Job abandonment may or may not go on your record depending on a variety of different factors that I’ll cover in this article. When in certain professions like the medical profession, defense, security, or other job areas considered essential or incredibly important, job abandonment can and often will go on your record.

In those cases, it’s shown on your ROE (Record of Employment), and means future employers will see it while doing a background check on you. There can be numerous different reasons why you abandoned your job but when it’s recorded the reasons are not – just the actual termination resulting from your absence from the job.

It’s not illegal to commit job abandonment and there’s no criminal punishment for it, you receive punishment by struggling to get a job in the future, which we’ll explain below. 

How Does Quitting a Job Without Notice Affect Employment Records?

Job abandonment can have a serious long-lasting effect on your employment record in certain situations. There are jobs where just suddenly quitting can have serious detrimental effects on others.

Think healthcare, defense, certain areas of government, security, safety, etc. People who quit their job in these fields without warning may find themselves with an abandonment mark on their job record.

In those fields where consistency matters a lot, human resources for another company would absolutely check for your job history and may terminate an offer if you have a job abandonment mark on your employment record.

What Are the Consequences of Job Abandonment?

The consequences of leaving a previous job without giving notice will vary based on a few main factors:

  • The labor laws in your state
  • Whether you list the job on a resume or not
  • If you work in a specialty niche

While it has long been considered unprofessional to just not show up for work without giving a two weeks’ notice, some opinions of that have begun to soften due to many mass firings and lay-offs where social media or news were alerted before the workers.

However, if your job isn’t in a specialty niche like those mentioned earlier, then in many places labor laws greatly restrict how much a previous employer can tell about an employee during a background check.

In some states, if you haven’t listed someone from that company as a reference, the amount of information that can be given is as little as confirming that they worked that job for the dates provided on the resume.

If you are in a “Right to Work” state, there is no job abandonment in most cases. If a company can fire you for any reason same day, the employee also has the legal right to quit same day without penalty.

This can be a safeguard, but keep in mind what the laws say employers must do when asked for references versus what they actually say and do can be two different things. It’s also possible that word of repeat absences, termination, or you just refusing to show up for work could come up in passing and paint a negative image.

If you don’t include a job where you were terminated because you didn’t show up to work on a resume, in many cases a basic background check won’t reveal this information. This means the job abandonment policy of that company just won’t matter because potential new employers won’t know.

Further Job Abandonment Consequences

An employer may ask about any past times when a job applicant was fired or experienced termination of employment. Lying here could result in an offer being withdrawn or even being fired later on if the deception is found.

Having a large gap in a resume or questions about why there are no recommendations from recent jobs can limit future job opportunities, as well. Make sure to have answers that can explain any gaps, or put a spin on why you quit your job.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most of the time when job abandonment occurs, the person who quits without notification will likely be denied unemployment.

Keep these potential consequences in mind before you leave your job, and weigh those against whether you really feel like you need to quit your job now or whether you can wait long enough to give a proper two-week notice.

What Is the Difference Between Job Abandonment and Quitting a Job?

Job abandonment and quitting can look like the same thing but the key difference is that when quitting your employer is aware of this. If you tell the boss “I quit!” and then walk out, that’s different than never showing up again.

In states where a 2-week notice is expected, just quitting a job without warning and walking out might actually be considered abandonment. This can be an issue if you are hoping for unemployment benefits later.

If you give a 2-week notice and then quit, that is generally not considered job abandonment. The one exception could be if you had a legally binding long-term contract in which case even two weeks might not be enough.

There can be a fine line between the two, however some guidelines that should help:

  • Giving notice before quitting at a later date is not abandonment, as long as it’s not directly in violation of your employment contract
  • Wrongful termination is never job abandonment
  • Being fired or laid off is never job abandonment
  • Voluntary resignation is never considered abandonment

If you stop showing up that’s when you’re dancing around these terms as an employee.

What Is the Difference Between Abandonment and Getting Fired?

When the employee abandons a job that’s when the question of getting fired/abandonment comes into play. However, if you come to work and it’s the employer that forces you to leave a job through lay-offs, constantly cutting hours, or straight out firing, that’s on them.

If you were fired, unemployment may or may not be an option. This varies based on state laws, the situation, and any reason for termination.

Simply put: You can’t abandon a job when the employer initiates termination despite your attendance, but you can be fired. If you stop showing up and are constantly absent, then that can be considered abandoning a job.

When an employee fails to show up and refuses to respond when an employer attempts to contact them that is pretty clearly hitting the quitting and abandonment line of things. It’s a voluntary action by the worker, and the personal reasons for not showing up don’t really matter.

When you’re fired it might be for too many absences, but that doesn’t mean you just stopped going to work. This might be because of a company policy like missing three consecutive days without paid vacation stored up, or missing a certain number of days within a given time period.

Getting fired means it was a non-voluntary action on the part of the worker. They were showing up and doing the job but the employer decided to let them go or fire them anyway.

Job abandonment is when you leave the company without notice, while getting fired means the company no longer wants you to work there.

Can Job Abandonment Affect Future Job Prospects?

Job Abandonment Affect Future Job Prospects

Job abandonment can affect future job prospects. This is a bigger concern in some fields than others, but even outside of fields like medicine and defense, it’s important to note that a history of multiple absences can cool an employer’s excitement to hire you – especially in a right to work state.

Companies want someone reliable, abandoning your job is not a good look, and it’ll make life harder when you’re on the hunt for a new job.

However, you might have special circumstances that forced you to abandon your old job. You should explain this to the new company you’re applying for as they may be able to take your side and look past it. 

This is especially true for cases like family emergencies, records showing you did give notice, or proof that you were told it was considered a voluntary resignation, and the information they’re getting on your job abandonment comes from an unreliable source.

Can You Remove Job Abandonment from Your Record?

Check Your Employement Records

Use your Name, Phone Number, Email, or Address to find information.


This is a tricky one and it really depends on a few different factors such as the reason why you abandoned your job, the state laws there, and any contracts that were possibly broken.

Again, in most cases, there won’t be an obvious way for a potential future employer to know unless you openly list the job you left without notice – and even then they might not learn the circumstances regarding the end of that job.

However, if you broke an contract in a way that resulted in legal issues that went to court – it’s going to be impossible to hide that from a detailed background check since there will literally be court records.

Leaving a job without notice happens – but it doesn’t look good with most hiring employers.

This is one of those questions where the answer matters a lot on a case by case basis. In most situations there isn’t a major employment record that comes up with a background check, but stay mindful that in a deep dive of your resume employers may look at social media, court records, LinkedIn, or other sources that might hint at days of absence or missing work without a good reason.

The best way to not worry about this or to avoid negative consequences for suddenly quitting is to have a notice of resignation ready. If you know there are potential problems at a job having this ready can be an important bit of evidence to help you after a sudden quit in the future. 

Job Abandonment & Future Employment: Final Thoughts

Job abandonment is something that any employee who quits their job suddenly will have to contemplate. That said, an employee shouldn’t deal with a toxic or dangerous workplace just because of fear of the bad consequences from quitting.

There are normally multiple options for workers who find that a previous firing or abandonment is affecting their current job search. Understanding how the concept of job abandonment works is the first step to taking care of your current and future prospects.

Written by Shane Dayton

Shane, an MFA grad and seasoned online writer, specializes in security and privacy, using his vast state-to-state travel experiences to guide readers through the complexities of information safety in a digital world. Read more of Shane's articles.