25 Aug 2022


At Will Employment: What You Need to Know

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At will employment refers to a type of work arrangement where an employer can terminate the employee for no specific reason and at any given time, and the employee can quit at any time at their will. Although this arrangement offered flexibility in moving on to better opportunities or relocating, it does not promote job security. In the modern society, at-will-employment still exists with many being the minimum wage and hourly employees. Moreover, every employee is regarded as at will unless there are binding agreements with the employer on conditions under which one can be fired. Also, the legal system has established laws restricting employers from firing employees on the basis of gender, color, and race; these laws also outlines situations when an employer can legally terminate at-will employees (Tarnofsky, 2004). The creation of these laws saw many lawsuits by employees citing wrongful discharge; surprisingly, many of the plaintiffs succeeded in their claims of only being fired for a good cause. 

The major concern about at will employment is the fact that it does not apply to everything in an employment relationship. Essentially, due to the fact that at-will is only applicable as long as the work lasts. How long an employee remains employed is determined by the employer as they can fire their employees without any particular reason and at any time (Berks, 2000). This means that regardless of the efforts or energy a person puts on the job does not determine their fate to stay employed. For instance, while an employer cannot fire an individual because of their race, they can put the employee up for hard work so they can later fire them for incompetence; this is sometimes at the cost of personal issues such as wanting to employ their relatives for the same position. This is a major contributor to job insecurity as people are not guaranteed to retain their job if they are not employed under binding contracts. 

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Understanding the policies that regulate the employment relationship is of the essence for any employee. Personally, policies on equal opportunity, harassment, occupation health and religious practices would be of primary concern. Acquiring more information on employment policies will enable one to observe the requirements and provide knowledge on the expectations of the employer on the given work. Additionally, adhering and implementing the set policies requires adequate information; this will ensure that there is effectiveness in the work environment and minimum liability and disputes in the workplace (Moberly, 2000). A person can perform maximally if they are aware of the set rules and practices as employees uphold the values and expectations in a given organization. Moreover, there is increased transparency and the welfare of the business as a whole. 

There are several sources of information about the policies and practices of a particular business. These sources include the website of the organization, visiting the offices of business and enquiring on policies, asking information from people who currently work in the same organization (Staidl, 2008). One can also decide to attend to events and programs planned by the given organization to understand the basic concepts that drive it. For example, I am on at will employment with CDC for some time now; I was given a handbook outlining the various policies and practices in the business. Also, I spoke with several employees who have worked for a long time in the firm. All these sources, both primary and secondary, will help one gather enough information on what is expected of an employee in the workplace. Whether there is a binding agreement or it is at will employment, carrying duties effectively requires an employee to gain knowledge on policies and practices guiding the business 


Berks, P. (January 01, 2000). Social change and judicial response : The handbook exception to employment -at-will. Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, 4, 2.) 

Moberly, M. D. (January 01, 2000). Striking bargains : The at -will employment of permanent strike replacements. Hofstra Labor Law Journal, 18, 1.) 

Staidl, T. L. (January 01, 2008). The enforceability of noncompetition agreements when employment is at -will: Reformulating the analysis. Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, 2, 1.) 

Tarnofsky, P. J. (January 01, 2004). The employment -at- will doctrine and non - union airlines : Impact on both employees and employers. Journal of Air Law and Commerce, 50, 1.) 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). At Will Employment: What You Need to Know.


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