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How Do I Know if I Am an At-Will Employee?



In the United States, most jobs are what's known as at-will, meaning your employer is free to hire and fire you-and you're free to quit-at almost any time and for almost any reason. If you've been terminated, you may be wondering if your dismissal was legal. The answer may hinge on whether you're an at-will employee.

At-Will Employees

At-will employment laws are created at the state level. By default, you are an at-will employee unless:

  • You have a written, signed employment contract
  • You are a union worker who is bound by a collective bargaining agreement

Some states recognize the concept of implied or verbal employment contracts. If you live in such a state, your employment attorney may be able to make the case that you were not an at-will employee and you deserve job reinstatement or compensation for your termination.

People who are not at-will employees may be subject to additional rules and requirements regarding their job. For example, an employee with a job contract may have a contract that explicitly states the worker's employment will end on a specific date. Or a union worker may have to resolve certain job-related disputes through the union's grievance process.

An employment lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights.

Visit LawyerLocator to learn more about labor and employment law or to locate an employment attorney in your area.

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