Are There Exceptions To "at Will" Employment?

First, where an employee is fired in a manner or for a reason that contravenes a recognized and established public policy, the at­will rule will not serve to insulate the employer from liability. Second, courts have clarified the requirements for finding an express or implied contract term for employment for a certain period or a covenant for dismissal only with cause. Finally many courts have relied upon the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and have granted the discharged employee a cause of action to sue when the employer's conduct breaches that implied covenant. This cause of action may sound in tort, contract, or both, depending upon the jurisdiction.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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