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Employment-At-Will Doctrine in the Real-Life Cases Essay

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Updated: Aug 11th, 2020

The modern workplace governance is vulnerable to constant reshaping and reforms alteration. Therefore, the model of at-will employment serves as a consistent solution to the changeable jurisdiction policies. The concept implies the existence of the legal right, which allows the employers to terminate the workers. Different state courts tend to interpret some contrastive law issues such as workspace privacy in contradictory ways.

The contemporary employment-at-will doctrine shapes efficient protection both for the employers and for the employees, who suffer from unfair labor regulations. Nevertheless, there arise the cases, in which at-will employment violates the fundamentals of international labor protection standards, due to the subjectivity of the employers’ decisions. Therefore, there are three primary exceptions to the doctrine, which deny the legitimacy of at-will employment. These are implied a contract, public policy, and implied covenant (Summers, 2002).

This paper provides an overview of the employment-at-will doctrine effects with reference to three real-life cases. The review includes some fundamental social and ethical implications that pertain to employment interrelations. Moreover, the analysis includes an evaluation of the practical case that describes the employer-employee relations as well as a current state policy on the model.

The first instance concerns the problem of personal abuse at work. The issue of cyberbullying falls into the category of the prevalent sources of conflicts that arise within the workspaces (Edwards, 2011). Ellen is an employee of the company, who complaints about the inefficiency of promotions in her work environment. She starts writing the blog, in which she expresses her grudge against the management of the company. Specifically, the worker is unsatisfied with the decision on the Chief Operating Officer’s bonus. Ellen uses a number of abusive words and expressions such as “out-of-touch” so that to disclose the unfairness of management’s decisions.

One needs to determine the nature of three exceptions to the at-will-employment regulation so that to find out whether there are any limitations to the termination of employment. Therefore, the exception of the first refers to the issue of state laws and claims that no employer can fire a subordinate employee if the latter acted out of the principles of state jurisdiction rules. Second, the implied contract predetermines the existence of collaboration timeframes that can not be violated by the employer if they were previously confirmed.

Finally, the conception of an implied covenant of good faith refers to the moral and ethical side of labor laws. Thus, it is suggested that an employer can not dismiss a worker if the former acts out of evil intentions, malice, greed, etc. (Muhl, 2011). The case under review does not fall into the categories of exceptions. Therefore, the employee is fired on the ground of immoral professional conduct and abuse since a work experience does not allow the usage of personal references at work, especially if they bear a negative implication and aim at criticizing or offending someone.

The second point of the at-will doctrine analysis regards the property relations within the workspaces. In the focus of the review stands a worker, who used the company’s device, BlackBerry, for his personal issues and daily life. According to U.S. law, there is a strict prohibition to apply the work-related objects, tools, or services outside the workspace since similar acts often lead to intellectual property thefts and data leaks.

Therefore, it is a task of the management to control the monitoring system, which ensures safeguard conditions at work as well as terminates the collaboration with the employee, who caused a slip (Workplace monitoring policy: Use of company property, 2014). The matter bears no statutory, contract, or moral concerns. Thus, the company issues a decision on the immediate dismissal of the worker.

Finally, the third at-will conception discloses the idea of statutory exception, which shows that an employer is not entitled to terminate collaboration with an employee if the latter violated working conditions, due to the accomplishment of legal obligation. Anna, who is one of the at-will American employees, asked her employee to issue a leave request for her since she possessed a jury duty. However, the employer did not satisfy her request. Afterward, he decided to fire Anna, for she did not show up at work on the day of a trial. In this case, the regulation falls into the public policy exception group, which denies the termination of working relations between two parties (Jury duty, court appearance, or legal hearing appearance, 2008).

The regulatory specifications of diverse employment-at-will concepts vary with a state in the USA. Separate organs regularly work at the elaboration of new policies on the issue. The parameters of at-will employment are changeable as well. Thus, the U.S. labor regulation promotes the ideas of separate authority. The practical review of the Georgian at-will policy is revealed in this work as a background data for one real-life case, in which both an employer and an employee worked on the common task and utilized the standards of a new policy.

The workspace regulation politics has lately established an improvement to the policy through the discrimination veto. The history of the state illustrates multiple examples of gender, race, and ethnic prejudices at work. Thus, the local government of the U.S. made an attempt to eradicate discrimination within academic workspaces. A real-life occasion illustrates the nature of the Georgian at-will amendment.

One of the employees of an international company, who was Afro-American found out that he was receiving a 5 % smaller salary than his coworker during a year. When he asked his employer about the reasons for payment discrepancy, the latter claimed that black-skinned people did not deserve higher wages in Ukraine. Finally, the employee issued a complaint to the state court. On the basis of this case, a recompense system was devised. Due to it, the employees, who face discrimination pressures at work and get exposed to work conditions termination, are entitled to receive financial assistance from the state as well as their job position (Ewoh & Tejuoso, 2013).

The Georgian policy outlines one additional improvement that differentiates the state from the other U.S. states. Thus, the authority of Georgia issued a regulation of unclassified employees category that is based on the new human resources recruitment principles. The rule stipulated some liberation of the workers’ responsibilities since it was claimed that the employees had to be conferred with salaries that vary, due to personal performance. In fact, the alteration is mournful for multiple employees. Still, some experts state that the new reform elaborated a decentralizing tendency in local politics, which was already crucial and meaningful for the authority. As a result, many workers received not only permanent legal protection but freedom of work as well.


Edwards, R. (2011). Rights at work: Employment relations in the post-union era. Massachusetts: Brookings Institution Press.

Ewoh, A., & Tejuoso, O. (2013). An exploratory analysis of at-will employment policy in the state of Georgia. Annals of Management Science, 2(1), 109-128.

. (2008). Web.

Muhl, C. (2001). The employment-at-will doctrine: Three major exceptions. Monthly Labor Review, 12(2), 3-11.

Summers, C. (2002). Employment-at-will in the United States: The divine right of employers. U. Pa. Journal of Labor and Employment Law, 3(1), 65-86.

Workplace monitoring policy: Use of company property. (2014). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Employment-At-Will Doctrine in the Real-Life Cases." August 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/employment-at-will-doctrine-in-the-real-life-cases/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Employment-At-Will Doctrine in the Real-Life Cases'. 11 August.

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