At-Will Employment - FAQ

What is “at-will” employment?

When an employee is hired at-will, his or her employment can be terminated at any time with or without notice by either party - the employee or the employer - with no liability. The employee may quit their job for any reason at any time. Also, the employer doesn’t have to provide any reasons for terminating an “at-will” employee as long as the termination isn’t discriminatory or illegal.

What are common reasons of terminating an at-will employee?

- Poor company profit
- Poor employee performance
- Workforce reduction
- Merger

It’s a good idea for the employer to ask the employee to sign the Employee Agreement or Contract to ensure that the employee understands that his or her employment is “at-will’. Having this agreement in writing helps avoid lawsuits by the employee. Company policy manuals may be considered to be an enforceable document between the employer and the employee in many states.

Yet, it’s a good business practice that the employer provide the employee good faith communication about whatever issues have led to the termination of the employment.

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