Question #2: At-Will Employment
An at will employee, by definition, is an employee who is not under contract for a definite period of time, and as such can be fired at anytime. Theory that an employee can quit employment at anytime. The contract terms should be reciprocal: employee/employer can call it quits at anytime.
-State by state basis.
Although all U.S. states have a number of statutory protections for employees, most wrongful terminations suits brought under statutory causes of action use the federal anti-discrimination statutes which prohibit firing or refusing to hire an employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap status. Over time the at-will concept has become more limited as a result of employment contracts, federal, state and local statues, and public policy.
Statutory= under Civil Rights Act of 1964, can not terminate people for bad reasons. Example: race/ religion
Contract for a fixed period of time
* Collective bargaining
* Athletic contracts can only be terminated by the clause in the contract
EXCEPTIONS- ( an employee can have a reason to sue)
A) PUBLIC POLICY- ( No punitive damages, SALARY ONLY)
* Some kind of situation that would smack the conscience of the public if you fired someone
* EXAMPLE= Worker has a right to worker’s compensation. It is against public policy if you are fired for claiming worker’s compensation.
* OSHA-??? (ASK PROFESSOR)
* Should not be fired for refusing to commit a crime
* Whistle blower protection- Federal whistle blower act= only protects federal employees who blow whistle on government
* SOX- security fraud= gives protection to the people who spill on company
* Jury duty= civic duty to be on a jury = should not be terminated
* Most states have now adopted some form of public policy ( the general preference of the citizenry) exception providing that a dismissal is wrongful if it results from...