What It Means To Work In An At-Will State?
If you are employed at-will that means that your employment can come to an end abruptly, without much explanation or prior warning by your employers. However, when you accept at-will employment it also means you can leave the company without giving a notice. In turn, employers are granted authority to dismiss you under loose conditions that otherwise, won’t apply to regular employees. The legal system will be on their side irrespective of the damages you sustained due to the termination as long as it abides specific guidelines. Despite its unique conditions, at-will employment can offer flexibility to both employer and employee and can result in a comfortable work environment without the need of commitments. For instance, employers can change the terms of your contract without notice or without any repercussions. Similarly, you can ask for the work you need. Rights of an At-will Employee Fortunately, the government recognizes and protects such employees under special conditions. For instance, at-will employees cannot be fired if their employer has to follow state laws pertaining to job discrimination. In other words, your employment cannot be terminated on the basis of religion, ethnicity, race or gender. Plus, you cannot be let go if you voiced concerns regarding illicit activities in your workplace, complained about harassment or about health and safety violations that could result in injuries. In addition, you cannot be fired for exercising your legal rights. This includes your right to take days off to serve in the military, for medical reasons or to vote or serve jury duty. This is accepted in states that accept at-will employment such as:
- Rhode Island
- New York