Ethics Of The At Will Doctrine

1355 WordsOct 26, 20156 Pages
Ethics of the At-Will Doctrine Have you ever wondered what the term "at-will employment" means? According to Cornell University Law School, the employment-at-will doctrine "refers to the presumption that employment is for an indefinite period of time and may be terminated either by employer or employee" (n.d., para. 1). This doctrine is said to level the playing field between employee and employer as each party can end their relationship at-will. At-will employment however is not equally applied between public and private business sectors, nor is it supported in every state within the United States. Employees who work for the public sector such as teachers or firefighters, or those working in California or Montana for example, can only be…show more content…
The employer generally invests time locating a candidate to hire, and resources for salary, benefits and training to ensure success for both the employee and the company. The employee can terminate his/her employment at any time, for any reason; thus, leaving the employer at a disadvantage. The employer has to recoup the company losses by again invest time and money to hire another employee with no guarantee that the new hire will stay any longer than the previous employee. Is this fair or ethical behavior toward the employer? Do employers ask that the employee reimburse them for the time and resources expended to hire a replacement? Should they? In an effort to create equity in risk and benefit between employee and employer, the at-will employment doctrine allows the employer to terminate an employee at any time, for any reason. But again, is this fair or ethical behavior towards the employee? Don 't businesses have a greater amount of power than an employee in determining work environment and pay scale? Is it ethical for an employer to take advantage of their employees and fire those who make a high salary and replace them with employees with a lower starting pay in order to save money or distribute bonuses to top executives? Cornell University Law School notes that "given the unequal bargaining power between employees and employers, critics of this doctrine have noted its overly harsh results and have looked to unions, acting as certified
Open Document