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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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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