March 30, 2015
What Is At-Will Employment?
In 49 states, the one exception being Montana, employers are allowed to follow at-will employment guidelines. At-will employment means that an employee can be terminated at any time even if the employer doesn’t have a particularly good reason for doing so. Accordingly, the concept of working with an organization that utilizes at-will employment principles can seem frightening. Is there any job security in that environment?
What At-Will Employment Really Means
If you’ve ever held a job, chances are good that you’ve already experienced at-will employment. Not every organization points out their at-will employment policy, but this is nearly always the guideline used unless people are hired under an employment contract. Technically, at-will employment enables a manager to terminate an employee for something as trivial as wearing an ugly sweater. In reality, few companies are as arbitrary as that. When an employee is terminated, it may be because of budgetary concerns or performance issues. However, the employer isn’t necessarily required to spell it out.
Workers Under At-Will Employment Policies Have Rights
While at-will employment enables managers to fire employees without good cause, they are still prohibited from being discriminatory. In other words, the organization can’t make hiring and firing decisions based on gender, race, religion and age. If they do, then they are violating federal and state equal employment laws. Similar protections exist for at-will employees who report safety violations or illegal activities. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who take such steps, and they also cannot fire people who are merely exercising legal rights like taking family and medical leave or serving in the military.
Wrongful Termination and At-Will Employment
Workers who are employed at-will have the same protections under federal law as other employees. If an employer violates their civil rights, then they may bring a wrongful termination suit against their former employer. Anyone who believes that an employer violated their rights may want to contact an attorney to inquire about legal remedies.
If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated, you need to act fast. Daniel C. Miller part of top 100 trail lawyers in the nation. Along with providing experienced DUI lawyer services, Daniel C. Miller is also a felony lawyer, traffic attorney and more!
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