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Employment At-Will: Vermont

Employment At-Will requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor


  • Vermont courts have adopted the employment at-will doctrine, but consider the rule a presumption that can be overcome by evidence of a more meaningful relationship between employer and employee. See Employment At-Will Doctrine, Generally.
  • Employers may purposely create employment contracts by expressly agreeing to a term of employment, grounds for termination, guaranteed disciplinary procedures or an agreement not to terminate the employee without good cause. See Employment Contracts.
  • Similarly, employers can inadvertently create employment contracts with written terms of employee handbooks or policy manuals, or even through their common practices that created reasonable expectations on the part of employees. See Employment Contracts.
  • Unlike in most other states, well-written disclaimers in employee handbooks may not preserve the at-will status of employees where the actions and/or common policies of employers suggest a more meaningful relationship with the employee See Employment Contracts.
  • Vermont courts have carved out some exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine based on public policy considerations. See Public Policy Exceptions.
  • The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing may apply to employment relationships, depending on the surrounding circumstances. See Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
  • Vermont recognizes some other employment-related claims including intentional infliction of emotional distress and promissory estoppel. See Exceptions in Tort.