At-Will Employment is Never as Simple as it First Sounds: Employers Must Treat Workers in a Consistent Manner

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While hiring new employees is often challenging enough, the decision about when and how to terminate employees can present a legal minefield for employers. A basic understanding of Oregon’s “at-will” employment laws, and some legal guidance about how to avoid potential land mines, can help employers better protect themselves from wrongful termination and discrimination claims.

At-will employment means an employer or employee can terminate an employment relationship at any time, without cause. Employment is Oregon is presumed to be at-will. However, employers cannot solely rely on this presumption because, among other things, at-will employments does not prevent former employees from filing wrongful termination claims. Employers can take steps to preserve the at-will employment relationship in their policies and procedures, and employment offer letters.

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