What is “employment at will” in
? Kansas follows the employment at will doctrine, which means that employers can terminate workers for any or no reason, and at any time. Likewise, employees have every right to quit jobs for any or no reason, and at any time. Kansas
Employment at will applies if there is no employment contract in place for a particular worker.
Under federal law, employers are not permitted to use employment at will to illegally discriminate against employees. The laws specifically prohibit workers from being terminated because of their religion, race, national origin, color, or sex. In addition, employers are also prohibited from firing a worker who is over the age of 40 simply because of his or her age. The
also prohibits disabled employees from being terminated because they have a handicap. ADA
Thirty-eight states in the union recognize verbal promises of continued employment as taking precedence over the employment at will doctrine. So if Joe’s supervisor tells him, “We would never fire you without any reason,” or “You have a job here for life,” those statements would be legally recognized rather than an employment at will policy.
Most states have put some impressive limitations on the entire employment at will concept. In fact, 11 states in
do not subscribe to the employment at will philosophy at all. These states include: America Nevada, Wyoming, Alabama, Utah, Alaska, Montana, Arizona, Massachusetts, California, Idaho, and . What these states prefer to do is follow the “covenant of good faith and fair dealing” when it comes to relationships between employers and employees. Delaware
Most human resources professionals realize that firing people without cause or warning would result in lower productivity and lower morale among other employees. Firing people in such a reckless manner would also produce increased claims for unemployment insurance, which costs the company money.
When employees are asked to sign employment at will doctrines, they can refuse to do so. Employers, however, can also refuse to hire those individuals. JH
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