Legal Encounter 1Many companies make the mistake of believing that employees can be terminated at will, with or without cause. Even when at will language is in the employment application, handbook or other policy statements, it may not excuse the employer from violating promises given to an employee during a term of employment. All the language in the handbook must be consistent with such at will representation. Any contrary language or absence of other legal clauses may show that the employer was required to have sufficient cause prior to an employee's layoff or termination (Sessions, 1994).
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee believes he was unjustly discharged. If an employee believes his employment agreement has been breached without cause, he can file a wrongful termination complaint (Employeeissues, 2008).
The "at will" allows for termination at any time, for any reason, even if the reason seems unfair. The only exception to the "at will" rule is if the termination was illegal.
Most at will employers will have an employee sign paperwork when he is hired explaining that the company is an at will employer. Certain states only allow employers to use "at will" for probationary periods. Anyone employed "at-will," who wants to pursue a case against an employer for alleged wrongful discipline, discharge or other retaliation, should seek advice from a private attorney (Sessions, 1994).
Pat's rights have been violated and he has a right to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination against his employer Newcorp. Pat signed a corrective action plan with Newcorp upon being hired. Pat and Newcorp had an employment agreement (contract) when Pat signed to personnel manual. Newcorp breached their personnel manual (contract) that outlined the process for dealing with unsatisfactory employees. Newcorp did not follow the proper protocol with the notice of unsatisfactory performance/...