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What is at-will employment?

By May 6, 2024No Comments

At-will employment means that an employer can alter or terminate an employment relationship at any time for any reason, provided the reason isn’t illegal, or even for no reason at all, without incurring liability to the impacted employee. Likewise, an employee can quit their job at any time for any reason or for no reason without incurring liability to the employer.

At-will employment is the standard rule in U.S. labor law. However, startups should note that this is not standard practice worldwide. Companies planning to hire outside the United States should seek advice from employment lawyers licensed in the countries where their workforces will be located to ensure compliance with local labor laws and practices.

Even in jurisdictions where at-will employment is the norm, companies should consult an employment lawyer if a policy change or employee termination could become complicated or contentious. Employers must comply with a maze of labor laws and regulations. These include rules related to worker classification (employees vs. independent contractors), wage and hour requirements, anti-harassment, discrimination, retaliation policies, non-competition, and job-protected leaves of absence, among others. A skilled employment lawyer can guide companies through this maze, help implement best practices and procedures, and mitigate employment-related risks.

Author Foley Ignite

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