At-Will Employment Versus Right-to-Work

At-will-employment and right-to-work are two legal terms associated with employment laws. More often, people use these terms interchangeably, but the phrases mean different things, and that’s where we want to shed some light. This blog will talk about the meaning of each — and more — to avoid confusion and help you to avoid legal issues later.

About At-Will-Employment.

At-will-employment is a law that gives both the employee and employer the right to end their employment ties at any time. The employer can fire the employee whenever they want, and the employee can quit the job with no notice, at any time. The employer isn’t obliged to give a business purpose for firing the employee. The employee also doesn’t have to provide any reason for walking away.

However, there are a few exceptional circumstances under which the employer cannot simply terminate the employee. Read about them below to have a better understanding.

Exceptional Cases For The Right Of Firing An Employee.

The employer’s at-will-employment rights are, however, restricted by some state and federal laws. Such laws are deemed conventional since they mostly touch on the personal life and moral values. The laws protect employees from suffering harsh decisions by employers that might strike them of their standard rights.

For example, the employer isn’t allowed to lay off an employee based on his/her race, country of origin, sex, and religion. Other factors that restrict employers’ at-will rights are;

  • The employee’s marital status;
  • Employee’s labor union;
  • Illegal reasons — for example, if the employee doesn’t want to get involved in an employer’s unlawful trade;
  • Disability — and the list is even longer.

About Right-To-Work.

Florida is a right-to-work state, and a lot of people misunderstand what that means. It does not change the at-will relationship that most employees have with their employer. The right-to-work law isn’t between the employer and employee at all, but has to do with labor unions. The law states that an employee isn’t bound to joining a labor union and paying dues to it cannot be a requirement of employment. The employee can be a member of another association in which their colleagues aren’t, or none at all —she reserves the right of choice.

The Bottom Line.

While most people confuse “at-will employment” and “right to work,” it is important to understand how each affects (or doesn’t affect) your status as an employee. Regardless of the fact that Florida is a right-to-work state, most people can be fired for any reason or no reason at all.

If you have questions about employee rights and what are valid reasons for termination, you should speak with an attorney. You may have rights or abilities that you never considered.