The At Will Doctrine Is A Rule Of Contract Law

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The "at-will" doctrine is a rule of contract law. The rule sets the standard that an employee can quit/resign their position at any time and an employer can terminate an employee at any time and for any non-discretionary reason. Because the at-will doctrine is a contract rule, both the employer and employee are free and able to change it by agreement. However, if their agreement is silent on the question of how the employee can be terminated, then the employee can be discharged without warning, without a discussion, and for any non-discretionary reason. Under the at-will doctrine, employment that is described as "permanent" does not mean that it will last forever. It means only that the job is not temporary or not seasonal. The employer can discharge the employee at any time and for any reason. The employer does have the option to terminate the employee for reasons that may even seem quite ridiculous and is not obligated to tell the employee the reason for termination; for example, because the employee asked for a day off. Under at-will employment, the employer is not required to give an employee any advance notice at all. The employer can also discharge the employee without offering the employee any chance to explain their side of the story. Every state has a different approach to and interpretation of at-will employment, so the law will be different from one state to the next. Because the at-will doctrine provides an employee no job protection at all, it is
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