Employment At Will: The Most Commonly
Misunderstood Principle in the Workplace
Most Americans have a general understanding of the "employment at
will" doctrine. They understand that it means that they are not guaranteed
employment for any specific period of time. In general, and at...
David Yamada is a law professor and the director of the New
Workplace Institute at Boston's Suffolk University Law School. He is also the
author of the Healthy Workplace Bill , draft model legislation that, if
ever passed, would impose liability on employers for employees who are bullied
In Pennsylvania, as in most states, an employee without a
contract for a specific term of employment is deemed an at-will
employee. Subject to certain exceptions ( e.g. , discrimination,
violations of public policy), an at-will employee can be terminated for
any reason or no reason at all.
Did you hear the one about the 14
employees who were fired for wearing orange shirts ? If you didn't, you
don't live in the UK or Ghana or anywhere in the U.S., because the story made
the international news. I think the story hit a chord with people everywhere
because it was just so outrageous...
Last Saturday was St. Patrick's Day, and many employees
celebrated it on Friday by wearing green and getting together after work.
story reported that 14 employees of a Florida law firm were fired for
wearing orange shirts. Traditionally, the color orange has been
associated with the Protestant...
Most employers can fire you for any reason or no reason
at all. As I say in my upcoming book, that means they can fire you because they
didn't like your shoes that day. Or, as it turns out, the
color of your shirt .
The law definitely needs to change. This appalling situation could happen...
On Donna Ballman's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home , she
argues for a radical change to at-will employment. She believes that
unemployment hearing officers should have the power to reinstate, with back
pay, anyone fired without just cause:
Most employers can fire you for any reason...
The Miami Marlins suspended
new Manager Ozzie Guillen for saying: "I love Fidel Castro," and "I
respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel
Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother-f***er is still here."
First it was reported as a suspension...
When an employer states in its paid time off policy that its at will employees are entitled to five days off immediately upon hire, does this grant become a vested benefit? This was the issue in MSX International v. Hurley , an unpublished decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals. What is of particular...
On March 7, 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the
Court of Appeals' decision in Cocchiara v. Lithia Motors, Inc. [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com
subscribers ], and held that when a job applicant
reasonably relies on an offer of at-will employment and that...
Last Friday I had the pleasure of appearing on Huffington
Post Live, in a segment entitled, "You're Fired! No really." We discussed the
current state of employment at-will, and whether American workers need greater
protections from being terminated without just cause.If you've read...
You probably know that North Carolina is an employment-at-will state. That means that in the absence of any employment contract, you can be fired from your job at any time, for good reason, no reason at all, or even a bad reason.
There's a skinny exception to that rule: that an employee cannot...
The University of Michigan was sued for discrimination based on sexual preference by a law professor who was denied tenure. The claim for breach of breach of an implied contract was based in part on the university's policy statements concerning non discrimination. The university raised then abandoned...
One of the cardinal rules for employers is the documentation of performance issues. Advise the employee of the issue, and document the conversation and what was discussed. A lack of documentation, although not advisable, is not necessarily fatal as was recently shown in an unreported Michigan court of...
For many employers, employee handbooks are used to detail what is expected of employees without binding employers to follow any particular policy. It is the "have your cake and eat it" approach which is part of a larger strategy to maintain at will employment. Problems arise however when employers...
(Or, States That Don't Suck For Employees, Part II)
I was doing some research for this series on pro-employee state laws and ran across a piece by that bastion of liberalism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce rating states either Good, Fair or Poor for employers. It's been a fantastic source of...
Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them. -- Harvey Mackay Imagine that you are an executive who just completed your first year on the job. At your...
Today, in my employment law class, we cover the case of Weaver v. Harpster . The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a woman could not sue her employer for sex discrimination/harassment [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. That probably comes as...