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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Fired from At-Will Employment

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Oregon

    These are some general questions regarding unemployment:

    1) Why is At-Will employment considered consitutional when it allows an employer to disrupt the life of an employee by firing them for any reason or no reason at all?

    2) Despite At-Will termination, are there cases that terminated employees win, besides discrimination or civil liberties stuff, when they can show that the employer did not give them fair warning or notification of any sort? I've been listening to Jodie-Beth Gallows "How to Legally Terminate People with Attitude Problems", and she indicates that there are cases where neglect of due process puts the case in favor of the terminated employee. Are there such instances?

    3) At time of hiring with an at-will employer, is there anything the employee can do to ammend the employment agreement to better protect the employee from subjective termination?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,208

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    1.) Because there is nothing in the Constitution that says an employee is guaranteed freedome from having their life disrupted.

    2.) With regards to collecting unemployment insurance, yes. But short of a legally binding and enforceable contract that expressly says otherwise, "neglect of due process" does not magically make a termination illegal.

    3.) You mean, is there something you can do to force the employer to agree to terms that are more favorable to you than the law requires? No. Your ability to amend any agreement is entirely dependent on the employer's willingness to do so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Quote Quoting bfrancom
    View Post
    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Oregon




    3) At time of hiring with an at-will employer, is there anything the employee can do to ammend the employment agreement to better protect the employee from subjective termination?
    I have done this ... so, yes it is possible. Most of my changes are in respect to "mandatory arbitration" which I have never signed a contract agreeing to. Out of 3 employers with this provision, 2 changed to remove it & 1 did not (which I did not take the job).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Re #1 remember that it works for the employee also - you can quit your job at any time for any reason or no reason (minus a binding employment contract to the contrary)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    "AT WILL" means either the employer or employee can terminate the employment at any time, with or without reason, with or without notice.

    The only reasons illegal would be discrimination - age, race, sex, nationality, religion...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Why and when did the U.S. make such a policy? It seems so unconstitutional and unfair? Don't other countries make At-Will termination policies illegal? To allow someone to have control over your life with such whim and to have no legal repurcussions for impacting your life just seems to smack of disrespect to a persons rights to the "Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness". I know you lawyers are entrenched in this, and you don't want to bother answere these questions, but hasn't anybody tried to challenge At-Will policy?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Quote Quoting bfrancom
    View Post
    Why and when did the U.S. make such a policy? It seems so unconstitutional and unfair? Don't other countries make At-Will termination policies illegal? To allow someone to have control over your life with such whim and to have no legal repurcussions for impacting your life just seems to smack of disrespect to a persons rights to the "Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness". I know you lawyers are entrenched in this, and you don't want to bother answere these questions, but hasn't anybody tried to challenge At-Will policy?
    Contact your state legislature -- they control most everything concerning employment....and where do you see this as unconstitutional? I think you are venting a little...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Hi, this is the USA....not other countries.

    Employers have the right to chose who they hire or fire....that is why it is called AT WILL....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Describing the developing of the at-will employment doctrine is a bit too much for a discussion forum.

    Unfair, it may be. Unconstitutional? No.

    There are exceptions to the at-will doctrine - for example, terminations against public policy, implied contracts, etc. And Montana has enacted some statutory exceptions. But disruption of an employee's life is not one of them. (You do realize that the "Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness" thing is not to be found in the Constitution, don't you?)

    I don't know why you think that "lawyers are entrenched in this." If anything attorneys probably would welcome more legislation in this area. More potential business.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,208

    Default Re: At-Will Employment

    Specifically, what article of the Constitution do you believe the concept of at-will violates?

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