The Employment At-Will Doctrine: Friend or Foe to HR?

The Employment At-Will Doctrine: Friend or Foe to HR?

August 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm ET
Duration 1.0 hours

An employee may be dismissed at any time, for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all, with or without prior notice. Similarly, an employee may resign at any time, and for any reason or no reason at all, with or without prior notice.

To HR professionals, the employment at-will doctrine (EAWD) is a friend, right?

For over 100 years, US employers have relied on the EAWD to provide flexibility and effective defense in disputes or litigation. But in the last half-century, it has become so complicated that an employer is often left to wonder whether it helps at all.

The question then becomes, how do you use the EAWD in your company? Do you drive employees to protect their jobs, or do you encourage the open discussion of ideas that would benefit your company? In other words, do your employees view the EAWD as a carrot or a stick?

This webinar will strip away the complexity of the EAWD so that employers can harness the protections it offers without having to tiptoe through a minefield of exceptions.

  • Identify common areas of exposure pertaining to the at-will relationship between employers and employees.
  • Discover how not to use the EAWD as a punitive tool with employees, so as to harness their full potential.
  • Harness the protections of the employment at-will doctrine for your business, while being aware of various exceptions.
  • Prepare a disciplinary/termination protocol that relies on the employment at-will doctrine only as a last resort.

Presented by

Michael C. Jacobson

Michael C. Jacobson

Michael C. Jacobson is the legal editor for the organizational exit and investigations and litigation sections of XpertHR.

Prior to joining XpertHR, Michael worked as an attorney in Manhattan for six years where he defended employers and healthcare providers against wrongful termination, discrimination, medical malpractice and general liability claims.

Michael obtained his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was the notes and comments editor for the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.

By the end of this presentation, participants should understand >

  • Identify common areas of exposure pertaining to the at-will relationship between employers and employees.
  • Harness the protections of the employment at-will doctrine for your business, while being aware of various exceptions.
  • Prepare a disciplinary/termination protocol that relies on the employment at-will doctrine only as a last resort.