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Can an employer fire a worker without cause?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Employment Law

Many states abide by at-will employment laws, which affect the termination process. According to the law, at-will employment enables workplaces to fire a worker without reason, while the employee can leave an employer for any reason and at any time.

While these laws offer some benefits to both employers and employees, it is important to understand how they work. Here are some basic facts to consider to ensure your employer treats you in the correct manner.

Basis of at-will employment laws

At-will employment laws aim to benefit both employers and employees by giving them freedom when it comes to the workforce. For instance, employers can terminate an employee if they do not live up to certain work expectations, such as arriving on time. In this case, an employer can search for the best employees to work for their business.

On the other hand, at-will employment laws also aim to empower workers. If an employee receives a more favorable offer in terms of employment, they can leave their current position without concerns about legal retaliation. This gives employees freedom to advance in their profession.

Instances where employers may violate employment laws

In the event there exists an employment contract between a worker and employer, the employer must follow the terms of the contract. Similarly, there are some reasons an employer cannot use when terminating a worker.

For instance, an employer cannot fire an employee based on certain characteristics. Protected characteristics include sex, gender, age, religion, race, nation of origin, and skin color. Firing a worker for any of these reasons violates discrimination statutes and leaves employers vulnerable to liability issues.