Is the at-will employment relationship affected by the employer filing employment-based immigration petitions and applications with the government?

Author: Maria Aguila, Law Office of Maria Aguila, PL

An exception to the at-will employment doctrine is not created by an employer filing employment-based immigration petitions and applications with the government. Therefore, either the employer or the foreign national may terminate employment at any time for any or no reason at all. Even if an H-1B petition is filed (which has an initial validity of three years) that does not create a contract of employment for a three-year term.

However, in order to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion regarding the terms of the employment relationship an employer should include language in the written offer clearly stating that the offered employment is at-will that can be terminated by the employer for any reason notwithstanding any statements of intention or any petitions made in relation to the offered employment to any government agency.