HR Glossary

At-Will Employment

What is an At-Will Employment?

There are a few exceptions to this rule, including termination for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation for whistleblowing, but generally, at-will employees can be fired without notice or cause. This type of employment relationship is common in the United States, but is not as common in other countries.

How do you build an At-Will Employment relationship?

There is no one specific way to build an at-will employment relationship, as it can be done in a number of ways, depending on the state. In general, however, employers and employees typically agree to an at-will employment relationship by either expressly stating that it is an at-will relationship in their employment agreement, or by conducting their business in a way that implies an at-will relationship. Some factors that may be considered when determining whether an employment relationship is at-will include the length of employment, the nature of the job, and whether the employee has been terminated for a reason that is not related to his or her job performance.

What sort of companies need an At-Will Employment?

At-will employment is the most common form of employment contract in the United States, although there are many exceptions.

Employers that need the ability to terminate employees without notice or cause typically use at-will employment contracts. This includes businesses in fast-paced industries, such as restaurants and retail stores, where the need to quickly replace employees who are not a good fit or are not meeting expectations can be crucial to the success of the business.


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