Make sure all versions of your company policies, whether in, online policies or even offer letters, contain clear at-will employment statements.
As this ruling shows, you won't be going overboard even if you list your statement on every single page of your documents.
Foster sued, saying the company'screated an "implied contract" by stating that employees couldn't be fired without undergoing and being given a chance to correct behavior.
A district court disagreed and sided with the company. Reason: The introduction and every page of the company's employment guide contained a disclaimer stating that the policies did not create any sort of employment contract, and workers' employment remained at will at all times. (Foster v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 3:02CV1433(PCD), DC Conn., 2004)
Final note: If your organization lays out progressive discipline procedures, make sure your policy also reserves the right to fire immediately for gross misconduct.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Using the Supreme Court's model to prevent employment lawsuits
- Track potential disciplinary problems as they occur
- Beware bias against men who take FMLA leave
- What should we do about a disgruntled worker who disparages us on the web?