Can I Be Fired? Can I Quit? Understanding the Employment at Will Doctrine
What is Employment At Will?
Unless there is a contract or a collective bargaining agreement that expressly states the employment terms, an employee is an employee at will. That means that an employer may terminate the employee’s job with or without good cause and that the employee may quit his job for any reason.
Supporters of the employment at will doctrine argue that it promotes efficiency in the workplace. In order for a business to achieve its greatest potential, the employer and the employee must be productive and successful. It is important that the employer and the employee work well together. The doctrine recognizes that sometimes an employee and an employer do not work well together even though there is no tangible reason for the unproductive working relationship. Therefore, the doctrine allows either party to leave the relationship for any reason rather than be locked into an arrangement that is not working.
Exceptions to the Employment at Will Doctrine
Each state creates its own exceptions to the employment at will doctrine. There are some exceptions that have widespread agreement among the states and other exceptions where there is less agreement.
Additional Labor & Employment Law Articles
Making the Hot Seat even HOTTER:
The Top Ten Illegal Job Interview Questions
- Legal Requirements for Lunch and Break Times
- How Can an Attorney Help With a Sexual Harassment Claim Against an Employer?
- A Balancing Act: Family and Medical Leave Act Benefits
- Do I have to pay my employees overtime?
- In this economy, I'm afraid of being laid off from my job. What will I do?
- Employee Rights When a Job Ends
- Possible Damages for Wage and Hour Law Violations
- Who is Protected from Employment Discrimination?
- Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
- Employee Benefits Required by Law
- Blowing the Whistle
- Unemployment Benefits
- How to Negotiate a Successful Severance Package
- Laid Off? Things to Take Care of Immediately
- The "For Good Cause" Defense to Employment Discrimination Claims
- How to Deal with Employee Complaints
- Hiring Foreign Workers
- Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements
- How Much Privacy Must My Employer Give Me at Work?
- Using Your Computer at Work: Your Rights as an Employee
- Your Privacy Rights - What Do I Have To Tell My Employer?
- Working on Commission – The Basics
- Your Legal Rights to Collect Unpaid Sales Commissions
- Role of Electronic Data in Employment Lawsuits
- Severance Packages
- Watch your Language at Work
- Should You Sign a Severance Agreement?
- Wrongful Termination of Employment
- Using Incentive Stock Option Agreements to Attract and Retain Key Employees
- How Can A Criminal Record Affect Your Job Application?
Labor & Employment Law Sub-categories
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)