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Employment At-Will: Oregon

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


  • Oregon courts presume that all employment contracts are at-will, meaning that the employment relationship can be terminated by either party, at any time, for any lawful reason. See Employment At-Will Doctrine, Generally.
  • Written provisions of an employee handbook or policy manual may alter the at-will nature of employment, just like verbal promises by authorized supervisors, if the promises meet a certain evidentiary threshold. See Employment Contracts.
  • Oregon courts recognize public policy exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine, but require that the public policy considerations derive from specific sources. See Public Policy Exceptions.
  • The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing does not apply to at-will employment relationships in Oregon, but may apply to contractual employment relationships. See Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
  • Oregon courts also recognize claims against employers for intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraudulent misrepresentation or "promissory estoppel." See Exceptions in Tort.