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At will employment means that a company can terminate an employee relationship for no cause or any cause, so long as the basis of termination is not illegal under federal or state law. On the flip side, the employee can also leave the company for reason or no reason.
The at will employment doctrine gives companies and employees broad roles in making employment decisions. For small businesses, at will employment has its definite advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some things your business should know about at will employment:
The broad rules could be unfair or create hardship, so the government has established exceptions to at-will employment.
Small businesses cannot fire employees:
The doctrine of at will employment guides a business or employee on what their rights are in terminating an employment relationship. However, it is also good to supplement any firing decisions with common sense and courtesy. Small businesses often rely on the expertise and dedication of their employees and likewise can suffer when employees work against the company.
So use at will employment to bring on and retain quality employees, and let go of employees that are detracting from the business. And be sure to abide by state and federal regulations to avoid future employment claims and to build a reputation of fairness.