In most states, workers are employed on an “at will” basis, meaning they can leave the company at any time. Conversely, employers typically retain the right to terminate workers at any time for any legal, nondiscriminatory reason.
But if the worker is under contract—including a signed employment agreement, a collective-bargaining pact or even an implied contract—employers can usually fire only for “cause.” Typically, that encompasses insubordination, nonperformance or dishonesty, or cases in which the employer must eliminate the employee’s position.
Not all states recognize implied contracts. But if your state does honor such agreements, any written or verbal statements alluding to job security may be construed as contracts.
Courts continue to chip away at the at-will doctrine, providing less flexibility to employers. This has led to an increase in wrongful discharge lawsuits.
Federal laws preven...(register to read more)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- RIFs and age bias suits: Understand the power of statistics
- Beware using medical costs as employment factor
- Drug testing: Minimize lawsuit risk with smart policy
- Personality clash or hostile work environment? It depends on hypothetical 'reasonable person'