What Is At-Will Employment?

Most jobs, in most states, are considered at-will employment. While this is a common practice, many employees do not understand what at-will employment really means.

What Is At-Will Employment?

At-will employment means that your employment is exactly that, at will, and your employer can terminate your employment at any time, for any reason. However, the employer must terminate employment legally, where there are exceptions to this at-will policy. Examples of these include:

  • Discrimination- you cannot be terminated due to your age, race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.
  • Retaliation- you cannot be terminated because you have complained about discrimination, harassment, or any other illegal activity, including health and safety violations that you may have witnessed or experienced in the workplace.
  • Taking leave- you cannot be terminated for taking FMLA, USERRA, time off to vote, or for jury duty.

If you are terminated for any other reason, outside of these, your termination is likely legal, which means that you may not have a case to fight your termination. However, if you have been terminated for any of the above reasons, be sure to contact an employment attorney immediately.

What Is An At-Will Agreement?

Many employers will have new employees sign an at-will agreement upon hiring, helping employees understand that their employment is at-will, as well as further protecting themselves, and enabling them the ability to implement termination, if necessary. Be sure to review and understand any employment contracts and agreements before signing them.

If you are feel that you have been terminated illegally, or have questions about your workplace rights, contact the employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff today.