Labor Law And Contractual Relationships Essay

927 Words Oct 31st, 2016 4 Pages
At-will employment, a term used in U.S labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason other than reasons due to race, gender, or ethnic background. Likewise, an employee may terminate employment for any reason. Offering very little legal rights to the employee post termination, the at-will doctrine has been criticized by many. Ethical questions surrounding at-will employment require in-depth analysis.
Ethical Dilemma of At-Will Doctrine
Although the majority of employers hire at will, critics of the doctrine believe that at times it can be unethical and detrimental to the employee. Under the at-will doctrine, an employee may be terminated by either party (employer, employee), for any reason or no reason at all, without notice. At-will employment thus constitutes a default contract—it is the agreement that obtains between employers and employees absent an agreement to the contrary (e.g., a union contract). The at-will doctrine will not protect an employer who uses the power of termination to engage in racial discrimination, punish an employee for refusing to violate the law. The at-will doctrine remains the basic rule governing employment relations in most of the U.S (Marcoux, Alexei, Business Ethics 2008). For example, employees can be fired on short notice because their boss has a personal aversion to the employee. Obviously, under federal law employee termination due to race, gender, or ethical background is…

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