At-Will Employment

News & Analysis as of

Employment at Will Comes with Many Exceptions

Kentucky employment law generally recognizes that most employment is “at-will” – meaning, employees serve at the pleasure of the employer, and termination of an employee does not require “just cause.” ...more

Fifield Update: Two Federal District Courts Conclude That The Illinois Supreme Court Will Ultimately Reject Fifield's Two-Year...

In the last issue of The Fast Laner, we reported that the Illinois Court of Appeals, Third District, followed Fifield v. Premier Dealer Servs. and held that, in the absence of other consideration, continued at-will employment...more

The Courts Continue to Debate Restrictive Covenant Enforcement in Illinois

Courts in Illinois are in the midst of a significant legal debate relative to whether a post-employment restrictive covenant involving an at-will employee can be enforced if the employee has less than two years of continued...more

Illinois Federal Court Rejects Bright-Line Rule on Consideration Needed for Competition Restrictions

On February 6, 2015, the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago rejected the bright-line rule, created by the Illinois Appellate Court in the often maligned Fifield v. Premier Dealer Servs.,...more

Illinois Courts Continue To Apply Fifield; Employers Should Closely Examine Non-Competes To Ensure Enforceability

In 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision, Fifield v. Premier Dealer Servs., Inc., which held that the promise of at-will employment was insufficient consideration to support an otherwise enforceable non-compete...more

2015 Virginia Employment Law Pocket Guide

In this Guide: - Employment At-Will - Right to Work - Employment of Children - Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts - Virginia Human Rights Act - Virginians with Disabilities...more

New Year’s Resolution for Missouri Employers: Arbitration Agreements In Light of Jimenez v. Cintas Corporation

Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? The Missouri Court of Appeals rang in 2015 by refusing to enforce an arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee. The decision continues the robust trend in Missouri of...more

Utah Supreme Court Confirms Employee Handbook Disclaimer Can Protect Utah Companies from Implied Contractual Claims

A recent Utah Supreme Court decision drives home to companies with employees in Utah that a clear and conspicuous disclaimer in a prominent point of an employee handbook goes a long way to protecting the company from any...more

Illinois Supreme Court Reaffirms Narrow Scope of Retaliatory Discharge Cause of Action

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that retaliatory discharge is a narrow exception to the general doctrine of at-will employment under Illinois law. Unanimously reversing the Fifth District of the...more

Keine Altersdiskriminierung durch nach Betriebszugehörigkeit gestaffelte Kündigungsfristen

Die vom Arbeitgeber einzuhaltende gesetzliche Kündigungsfrist des § 622 Abs. 1 BGB beträgt vier Wochen zum Fünfzehnten oder Ende eines Kalendermonats und verlängert sich gemäß § 622 Abs. 2 Satz 1 BGB bei längerer...more

Got an Outdated Employee Handbook? Update Now!

What Employer doesn’t have an Employee Handbook with the requisite at-will language to defeat implied contract claims? So 1990’s. It’s 2014… Time to Update these HOT Employment Areas...more

Missouri Supreme Court Redefines Adequate Consideration for Enforcing Arbitration Agreements

Continued at-will employment is no longer sufficient consideration to enforce arbitration provisions in Missouri. In Baker v. Bristol Care, a recent decision of the Missouri Supreme Court, a slim majority of the Court struck...more

The Latest From The NLRB On Employment-At-Will Policies

Just two years ago, employers weren’t terribly worried about the approach the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took toward employment-at-will policies. True, the board did seem to signal at the time that it might...more

Hostile Doesn’t Mean MEAN: Understanding Employment Law

Dealing with employees also means dealing with their misconceptions about employment law. This blog entry highlights some of these misconceptions and reminds employers of the significance of employment at will....more

Texas Supreme Court Establishes That an At-Will Employee Does Not Have a Viable Fraud Claim Based on Continued Employment

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued a much-anticipated opinion regarding fraud claims in the employment at will context. In Sawyer v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 430 S.W.3d 396 (Tex. 2014), the Fifth Circuit Court of...more

Update: The NLRB and Employment-At-Will Policies in 2014

We originally addressed this topic on November 9, 2012, discussing the National Labor Relations Board’s scrutiny of employer handbooks containing employment-at-will provisions. Since these disclaimers are widely used in...more

Wis. Supreme Court Accepts New Case: When Are Covenants Not to Compete Illusory for At-Will Employees?

Last month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted the Court of Appeals’ certification in Runzheimer Int’l, Ltd. v. Friedlen, No. 13AP1392 (Apr. 15, 2014). The intermediate appellate court had certified the following question:...more

To the Woodshed: Self-Defense, Defense of Others and Retaliatory Discharge

The workplace can be very tumultuous. Employees working in close quarters inevitably have disagreements, and some employees prove themselves to be disagreeable troublemakers. Workplace bullying is considered by some to be...more

North Carolina Court Allows Emotional Distress Damages for Wrongful Discharge Claim

North Carolina courts recognize a limited exception to the normal employment at-will doctrine. If an employee is terminated for reasons that violate state public policy, the plaintiff may pursue a common law tort claim to...more

Texas Supreme Court Limits Fraud Claims by Terminated Employees

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Texas declared that at-will employees may not bring an action for fraud that is contingent on the promise of continued at-will employment. The Court also held that...more

New Texas Supreme Court Case Helps/Hurts At-Will Status

On April 25, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision in the Sawyer, et al. v. Du Pont case. The case involved questions from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the scope of the at-will doctrine in Texas....more

Does the Employment Relationship Convert to At-Will Upon Expiration of an Employment Agreement’s Term? Failure to Consider this...

Many employers are surprised to learn that the employment relationship does not automatically convert to “at-will” when an employee’s fixed employment term expires. Instead, when asking for clarification on this issue,...more

Illinois Court Of Appeals: Non-Competes Unenforceable Without At Least Two Years Of Continued Employment

In Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., the Illinois Court of Appeals covering Chicago held that as a matter of law, an at-will employee must remain employed for at least two years to receive consideration sufficient to...more

At-Will Employment Clauses and the NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has made headlines in the last few years with its close scrutiny of workplace social media policies. However, making something of a quieter splash, the NLRB has also been...more

Act Now Advisory: Overbroad Handbook Policies May Constitute Unfair Labor Practices

At-will disclaimers in employee handbooks may provide protection from contract claims, but a recent decision by a National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") serves to remind employers that the...more

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