One of the latest trends concerning employment is the policy that many firms have adopted, which states that a job applicant is being employed “at will.” Many employment contracts, job application forms and employee handbooks in the US now contain this short phrase that actually empowers employers to fire anyone even without reasonable cause. The worst thing is, this practice is permitted in almost all states – a legal way of limiting one’s legal rights in filing a termination lawsuit. Presently, Montana is the only state that provides employees, who have completed their probationary period, protection from being terminated without cause.
Despite adhering to this “at will” statute, states do not ignore claims of termination that are based on discrimination. While companies may be allowed to fire anyone to enable it to cut costs, or for whatever reason (or absence of good reason), the contrary holds when the cause of termination is due to a person’s religion, sex, race, color, age, and so forth – this is because this latter act is a violation of federal and state laws, such as the Civil Rights act of 1964, which strictly illegalizes employment discrimination of those presently employed or seeking work.
For individuals employed “at will,” proving termination as unlawful will be a harder thing to prove compared to a regularized employee being fired illegally. One example involves an “at will” employee who claimed that he was chosen to as among those who have been terminated simply because of his religion. This is one case that may be worth looking into, for the claimant may indeed have a cause to fight for.
Employers should realize too that there are laws that protect the rights and interests of employees and job applicants. Besides those that are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which prohibit any form of workplace harassment, discrimination and abuse, there are also laws that: protect employees from being retaliated upon, say, for whistleblowing or for taking part in a discrimination case lawsuit; and, require employers to always provide a healthy and safe working environment for all their employees.
In the event of wrongful termination, a highly-competent New York employment lawyer is one professional, whose expertise and dedication in fighting for clients’ rights and interests would be vital in earning for victims the justice that employment laws intend to uphold.