what is employment at will

Employment At Will

Employment At Will Employment at will basically means that an employee can be fired at any time and for almost any reason.  The flip side also holds true -- an at will employee has the right to leave at anytime and for any reason.  However, there are a few factors to note that may protect an employee from a seemingly random termination:

  • Employment agreement:  An employment agreement may set the terms of when an employer may terminate an employee or when an employee may leave.  Also, an employee handbook may extinguish the at-will aspect of the employment (e.g., by listing specific reasons for termination).
  • Illegal reasons: An employees cannot be fired for illegal reasons (e.g., as a result of illegal discrimination or retaliation).  
  • Public policy: There are certain limited public policy exceptions to the employment at will rule. (e.g., a lawyer cannot be fired for refusing to engage in unethical conduct).

If you have any questions about your employment termination or feel that you were terminated for an illegal reason, please call us for a free initial consultation.