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The True Cost of Employment-at-will to American Employers - Essay Example

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The True Cost of Employment-at-will to American Employers Name of Institution Date The True Cost of Employment-at-will to American Employers It is agreeable that many workers in the United States, just like most countries across the world, believe that satisfactory job performance need to be rewarded with benefits such as job security…
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The True Cost of Employment-at-will to American Employers
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Download file to see previous pages In legal terms, employment-at-will refers to the employment contract that can be terminated for any reason (except for a few spelt out illegal reasons) and at any time either by the employee or the employer (Sentell and Robbins, 2008). The doctrine of employment-at-will avows that, in cases where the employee does not have an express or written employment contract and the employment term is of indefinite period, the employer can terminate the employee for no cause at all, bad cause, or good cause (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2011). In the United States, at- will employee can be terminated for no reason at all, or for any reason, and at any time, and the courts cannot intervene to protect such an employee from employer’s alleged unfair treatment. Over the years, there has been raging debate among employers, employees, and policy- makers as to whether the doctrine of employment-at-will is really good for the United States or not. More specifically, employers have been trying to evaluate the “goodness” of the doctrine to them, both in short and long run. This paper will evaluate the true cost of employment-at-will to American employers. Among the major industrial powers, the United States is the only bone that still maintains a general rule of employment-at-will. ...
Some of the court rulings coupled with the scholarly writing on the scrapping of employment-at-will prompted most employers to think on the cost of the doctrine as well as its effectiveness. For example a law review article by Professor Lawrence Blades called for scrapping of the doctrine as it threatened the freedom of individual workers just like authoritarian government would do. As a result of this review article, courts recognized some kinds of exceptions to the doctrine; the exception of public policy being the most often- used. This exception allowed the judges to consider a dismissal as “unjust” if it was as a result of an employee exercising or upholding some public policy right (Blades, 1967). Muhl (2001) notes that recent years there has been revolutionary departure from the doctrine of employment-at-will especially based on the exception of the covenant-of-good-faith. This exception emphasizes on fair dealing and good faith as being very important in employment relationship. Courts that are using this exception usually rule that dismissal of employees should meet the standard of “just cause” and that such dismissals can be invalidated if they were done in bad faith or were inspired by malice (Roehling, 2003). In the light of evolution of employment-at-will doctrine, it is important to evaluate its true cost to the American employers in order to determine whether it is good for them or not. Willey (2009) explains that the proponents of the doctrine point to the essence of employer’s discretion in all the employment issues impacting his or her “business”. On the other hand, the opponents of the doctrine point out to the essence of defending the freedom of individuals and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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