At-Will Employment Limitations


"At-will Employment" has been extended by many companies to cover any and all aspects of employment including the right to change policies, benefits, and general terms and conditions of employment with or without notice, with or without cause. But both employer and employee should note that there are caveats to this seemingly all-inclusive loophole in the balance of the rights of employer and employee. Although employment may be terminated essentially without "good cause" or any "cause," it may not be terminated based on illegal premises. In other words, at-will employment does not extend to termination based upon a discriminatory pretext such as age, sex, or race discrimination. The downsizing that we've experienced over the past 10 years has certainly been countered with (some) legitimate claims of termination with has discriminated in one of these areas. Further, as some recent Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states' Supreme Court rulings have shown, the employer is still under the general tenet of good faith and fair dealing, a concept which is at the basis of most contracts.





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