Employment at Will
Professor Ron Harbour
Date Due: April 4, 2012
Date Submitted: April 4, 2012
This student has discussed the advantages the employment at will clause has on employees. However, this student believes there have been very little research has been done on the impact of Employment at will clause has had on employers. The question here is how does at will clause impact both employees and employers? This paper will review several researchers touch on the Employment-at-will clause by discussing the reasons employers may choose to terminate their employees. This paper will also discuss how race is related to termination, how employees respond to the termination decision, some situations that may call for dismissal of employment, and highlight important points made in some of the literature that was reviewed.
Table of Contents
History of Employment at will
Importance of Employment at will
What is employment-At-Will? The term employment at will refers to the fact that: Either the employee or the employer may terminate the employment relationship, at any time and for any reason, except a reason specifically prohibited (illegal) under state or federal law. When an employee does not have a written employment contract and the term of employment is of indefinite duration, the employer can terminate the employee for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all ( Rosenthal,1999, p.16). The employment at will doctrine provides that both the employer and the employee can end the employment relationship at any time without notice or reason. Releasing employees from their work duties without a practical reason is becoming very common in society today. Some employers have dismissed their employees because the Employment at-will clause states that employers can terminate at any time for any reason or no reason at all, as long as no agreement existed to prohibit such an action (Rosenthal, 1999,p.34).
According Herman employers in every state except Montana are presumed to be employers at will unless a current or former employee can prove otherwise. Employers may voluntarily adopt an employment at will policy as the basis for the relationship between employer and employee. Employment at will is presumed unless an employer provides a clear indication that it will only fire employees for good cause (p.98). It is possible to terminate an employee for a trivial issue or for no reason at all and not violate state or federal law. Nonprofit employers, like other employees, have the ability to hire and fire employees based on the needs and resources of the organization and the preferences of management.
History of Employment at Will
Since at least the latter half of the 19th century, the doctrine of employment at will has provided the foundations for most employment relationships in the United States. Its existence reflects the idea that workers should be free to leave positions that longer suited them and that similarly, employers should be free to dismiss employees who, for any reasons, no longer suited the employer’s needs. The doctrine of employment at will seem to place employers and employees on an equal playing field (Herman, 2003, P. 124). This student believes that despite the prevalence in the American workplace, a number of key developments has served to erode, though not destroy, the doctrine. One of these developments is the emergence of collective bargaining by unions on behalf of employees. Many, if not most collective bargaining agreements include provisions that severely limit the conditions under which an employee can be removed and may limit removal to instances when the employer can demonstrate it just cause. According to Herman the decade of the 1960s saw the adoption of statutory...
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