Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, July 31, 2004
  "At-Will Employment"

I live in one of the many states that have "At-Will Employment" laws. This means that I can lose my job at any time for any reason. Of course, I may sue for such things as discrimination of some kind, but the burden of proof is on me.

Here are some quotes from an essay by Ronald B. Standler about "At-Will Employment" laws
History of At-Will Employment Law in the USA

"The doctrine of employment-at-will emerged in the nineteenth century in the United States in a climate of unbridled, laissez-faire expansionism, social Darwinism, and rugged individualism. It is often referred to as Wood's Rule, named after Horace C. Wood, who articulated the doctrine in an 1877 treatise Master and Servant. No doubt the title of the treatise says all that need be said regarding Wood's view of employment relations and, unfortunately, the view shared by most of his legal contemporaries. [three footnotes omitted]
William L. Mauk, Wrongful Discharge: The Erosion of 100 Years of Employer Privilege, 21 Idaho L. Rev. 201, 202 (1985)."

"All may dismiss their employees at will, be they many or few, for good cause, for no cause[,] or even for cause morally wrong, without being thereby guilty of legal wrong."

"An at-will employee in the USA can be terminated at any time, and for any reason – or no reason at all – and the courts will generally not intervene to protect the ex-employee from allegedly unfair treatment by the employer."

"While most people in the USA do not seem to care about practices in other countries, several law review articles have noted that the USA is alone among the industrialized nations of the world in providing no protection against wrongful termination of employment."

The other type of employee is the "Just Cause" employee. This means that :
"Just cause employees can be dismissed from employment only for a good reason, such as poor job performance by the employee."

The burden then falls on the employer to prove why he wants to dismiss the worker.In many states that are "At-Will", you do have some recourse when you are fired from a job to get unemployment if you can prove that you did not lose your job as a result of something you did.

While buisness people and management will say that "At-Will" employment is best for workers and employers, that is obviously biased. I believe that this type of employment law only serves to further dehumanize people as cogs in the corporate machine.

If you live in a state that has "At-Will" employment, I encourage you to contact your legislators to change this. It may seem like a small step, but in a campaign year, they seem to listen a little more....

 
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