Is At-Will Employment Obsolete?


  • Gregory Rodriguez Florida Atlantic University


Employers may fire you for any reason, except for cases of discrimination. This is called the at-will employment doctrine. So, what is at-will employment? Well, its origins can be traced back to a treatise written by Horace C. Wood titled Master and Servant, which outlined the at will employment doctrine, basically stating that employees and employers should be able to mutually terminate their relationship for any reason. Unfortunately, this doctrine has not aged very well. Its evolution seems to reinforce a modem-day Master/Servant relationship. Not only that, but because it has been combined with non-compete agreements, there is no longer parity in the relationship, the employer appears to have all the power and that has a negative on the overall employee morale as well. Some would say that this doctrine results in no significant changes, but the facts indicate otherwise.