Avoid Creating an Implied Employment Contract When There Is an At-Will Employment Relationship

Key Points

  • Often, the employment relationship between the employer and employee is one that is at-will. If an at-will employment relationship exists, not only can the employer terminate the employee at any time, for any reason, so long as it is not in violation of any employment laws, but the employee is also free to leave the employer at any time for any reason or no reason.
  • However, employers must be careful and not create an implied employee contracts with an employee it considers at-will.
  • In order to avoid creating an implied employment contract, employers must clearly and unambiguously inform the employee of the at-will employment relationship in not only in the written employment offer, but the employee handbook as well. In addition, the employer should not make any statements to the employee either when verbally communicating the employment offer or during the employment that the individual has job security or that the individual will be compensated for a specific period of time.

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