It is often perplexing to read that you will be employed “at will” in a job application or contract. But what does at-will employment mean? Essentially, at-will employment indicates that either party, be it the employee or the employer, has the right to end the business relationship whenever they like. The terminating party may do so with or without prior notice and for any reason (or no reason). Except for Montana, employment relationships are presumed to be “at-will” in all states. If you face a wrongful termination or have questions about at-will employment, talk to an attorney from The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Goldberg today. 

What is Employment At-Will? 

At-will employment means that employers can fire employees at any time for any reason. Employees can also quit their jobs for no apparent reason. At-will employment has grown in popularity over time. Employees have the option of changing jobs without notice if they so desire. Regardless of legal requirements, providing two weeks’ notice is generally best to protect your reputation with future employers. 

Exceptions to At-Will Employment 

Some situations might be an exception to at-will employment if they require stricter guidelines. Some of these exceptions are: 

  • Employment Contracts 

Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract may have rights that are not available to typical at-will employees. 

  • Implied Contracts 

It is not permitted for an employer to fire an employee if there is an implied contract between them, irrespective of whether a legal document exists. It can be difficult to prove the validity of such an agreement, and the employee bears that burden. Employees are not at will and can only be fired for a good reason, according to your employer’s policy book or new-hire handbook. 

  • Good Faith and Fair Dealing 

Another exception type is the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Employers cannot fire someone in this situation to avoid their obligations, such as paying for commission-based work, retirement, or healthcare. 

  • Public Policy 

Employers cannot fire an employee if the action violates the public policy exception in their state. Employers are not allowed to fire or sue an employee if the employee’s reason for deciding to leave benefits the general population. Only eight states in the United States recognize public policy as an exception to this rule. Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Rhode Island are among them.

Get professional legal help. 

If you feel that you are being terminated from your job wrongfully, you still have some options that you can pursue. An experienced wrongful termination lawyer can help you assess your case, file a claim, and protect your rights if they are being violated. If you are wrongfully terminated, schedule a consultation today and discover your future options.