The "at-will" employee/employer relationship

If you live in the state of Minnesota and possibly other states, you are subject to what is commonly referred to as an “at-will employment relationship” This relationship basically gives the employer the right to demote, terminate, transfer, with or without reason. It also allows the employee to terminate his job without giving the standard and customary two week notice.

This arrangement seems so one-sided. It allows the employer to act like a Caesar or a dictator with no recourse for the employee (except in cases of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, etc.)

It is my understanding that such relationships are illegal in some states, thereby providing those workers some degree of protection from a dictatorial or despotic supervisor or manager.

Why would some states allow such relationships, while others declare them illegal?

Hypothetically speaking, if I wore a maroon shirt with khaki pants to work and if my supervisor or manager had an aversion to such dress (even though it was within the dress code), they could terminate me, discipline me, demote me, or change my job duties according to how the “at will employment” relationship is defined. I realize that my example is extreme, but nevertheless it provides an example of things that COULD happen if the “at will employment relationship” is allowed to continue in the states where it is legal. The only other recourse for people would be to join a union, but not all jobs are unionized.

I propose that the “at-will employee relationship” be made illegal not only in Minnesota, but in other states as well because it does not provide workers with any sense of protection whatsoever. It in essence gives the employer unbelievable latitudes with regard to terminating employees, but the employee only benefits from it by being allowed to quit with no notice.

I would be interested to hear from readers who may live in states where the “at will employment” is illegal and I would like to hear from those who might disagree with my position.

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2 responses to “The "at-will" employee/employer relationship

  1. Actually, you don’t even get to “not give 2 weeks” if you’re smart. Employers will still remember that if you do, and you won’t get rehired in general.

    Personally, I don’t mind “at will” as much as I do a host of other things companies do. My biggest job protection is my job performance–and if my employer lets me go while I’m doing a good job, that will become their problem.

    They might also have a problem if someone they let go for wearing a maroon shirt lets others know about why he was let go, if you catch my drift. Another huge protection against silly firings is bad publicity.

    bert

  2. Everyone’s employment is “at will” … specifically AT HIS WILL.

    My job security is my security in Christ

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