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Employment at Will

 It is a term used in U.S Labor Law for

contractual relationships in which an
employee can be dismissed by an employer
for any reason (that is, without having
established ‘‘just cause’’ for termination).
 Common law doctrine:
Employers may hire, fire, demote and
promote whomever they choose, unless a
law exists to the contrary
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 General exceptions to EAW:
 Public policy
 Violation of law

 Filling workers’ compensation claim

 Refusal to commit illegal acts

 Implied employment contract (the employee

 Good faith and fair dealing

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Just Cause
 Reason for termination stems from a job-
related, work performance problem
 Employee knew that the problem could result in
 If necessary, a fair and impartial investigation
has been conducted (and documented)
 Substantial evidence supports firing employee
 Firing is not an unusually harsh action
 Problems are handled consistently
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 Procedure for dealing with employee
dissatisfaction with management action
 Found in union and many non-
unionized organizations
 Involves appeals through various levels
of management, sometimes hearing by
management / employee panel

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Credibility: the key
For employees, it all comes down to one simple


Employees wants:
 managers to level with them.
 facts, not wishful thinking.
 the truth, especially in person.
 to know how they’re doing.
Credibility: the key
 Research indicates that trust in organizations
would increase if management:
1. Communicate earlier and more frequently
2. Demonstrated trust in employees by sharing
bad news as well as good news
3. Involved employees in the process by asking
for their ideas and their opinions
Employers Rights
 Access to personnel records
 Substance abuse / drug testing
 Medical records and genetic testing
 Off-the-job activities (e.g, dating, smoking)
 Polygraphs and honesty testing
 Miscellaneous
 Email and employee monitoring
 Whistle blowing
 Right to be aware of hazards

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Employers Rights
 The right to demand high-quality work
 The right to protect trade secrets and
confidential business information
 The right to demand hard work
 The right to demand loyalty

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