Occasionally, you may decide to create alternative work arrangements based on written agreements. How you do that is crucial to retaining at-will status.
Recent case: Merari Gonzalez worked in the sonogram section at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas while attending community college. The hospital agreed to pay her tuition in a sonogram certificate program in exchange for her promise to work for two years at the hospital once she graduated. The written agreement specified that the relationship was still at-will.
Gonzalez was terminated for violating patient privacy. She sued, alleging she had a two-year employment agreement.
The court said she did not, given that the contract specifically retained at-will status. (Gonzalez v. Methodist Charlton Medical Center, No. 10-11-00257, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2011)
- Beware overly broad drug policies, which could violate ADA rules about revealing a disability
- Tick, Tock. Watch the (Retaliation) Clock
- Don't fret needlessly over being right
- No individual liability under Texas Whistleblower Act or Labor Code
- Lawsuit-proof your firing decisions: Have those who hire or promote also do the firing