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#1 Golossos  Icon User is offline

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How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:52 PM

It is apparent in the private sector that many jobs are considered at-will, meaning that it does not require just cause for an employee to be terminated from a position. Is this something worth worrying about even if the company you are starting to work for is a reputable one? Discuss.
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Replies To: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:10 AM

This is called being fired for "just 'cause".

"Why am I being fired?"
"Just 'cause."
"Dammit."

Yeah, it's the standard thing in most places, although in practice a company is going to do their best to hire people that they don't want to fire. The hiring process is expensive and disruptive, and there's usually period in which the new hire is coming up to speed, so the usual thing is to try to ensure that you're getting some that you won't have to fire. This is why the hiring process takes so long and you might have to do a couple of interviews with different people - they're planning on committing to someone, and they want to take the time to get it right.
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#3 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:06 AM

Its not just companies to look at. Many states are "right to work" states, meaning employers can fire you for no reason, and are protected from legal retaliation under state law that says they can.

Map of right-to-work states
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#4 Golossos  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:44 AM

I see. I am just worried because the help desk position I accepted is considered "at-will" for the first half of my contract, and I am in a right-to-work state according to that source. I am already in the quitting process at my current job and just really want this new one to work out.
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:05 AM

Personally I would say "Chill out and accept it." Because this is how it will be for at least the next 15 years as you work your way up the ladder. All low-level jobs (not inclusive of a management contract) are going to be this way. Its how 90% of America is living. There is really nothing special about your situation.

Unless you shift into a union job. How does being a school teacher sound? You don't have to be qualified, and your union will scream if they try to institute any kind of regulation, like testing to prove you're qualified and doing something to earn your paycheck.
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostGolossos, on 23 November 2013 - 01:52 AM, said:

It is apparent in the private sector that many jobs are considered at-will


Public too. I work for the State. As far as I know, anyone who works in this state, unless in some appointed position, is at will.

Any company can fire you.

Most companies don't fire people for no reason. They usually have a well documented process, something involving various levels of disciplinary escalation, before someone is let go.

When a company does decide to fire you, you're fired. Some people don't take this well and try to sue their former employer for all kinds of reasons. The "at will" thing is just to make sure you stay fired with minimal legal fuss.
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#7 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:27 AM

Even in at-will states, Unemloyment is a thing. They don't want to pay unemployment any more than you want to be unemployed. Often this means that you won't get fired arbitrarily but instead only when doing so would give them a case to counter unemployment claims.
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#8 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:37 AM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 23 November 2013 - 10:06 AM, said:

Its not just companies to look at. Many states are "right to work" states, meaning employers can fire you for no reason, and are protected from legal retaliation under state law that says they can.

Map of right-to-work states



this is true to a certain extent

-- i was fired once because of the following reasons--

I was working 55+ hours and an employee quit and they told me i had to work more to make up for him
i did for about 2 weeks and asked them when they were going to replace him-- they said they had no plans to replace him...

i told them i couldnt do any more than 55 hours anymore because my son was starting hockey and i had to take him to his practices while the wife was home with an infant

they asked me what was more important-- my family or my job---

i said my family and boom i was fired--

i took them to court and won against them----

they had to pay my unemployement or i could have my job back-- i chose unemployement because who would want to go back to that
also the court appointed a person to over see that company for 6 months to make sure they no longer used that practice on their employees.

so this actually all depends on the situation and it isnt black and white
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#9 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:46 AM

In Ohio you sign the application noting that you understand that your position can be terminated for any reason, & without prior notification. I've lived my entire working life knowing & understanding this. If they company is on hard times, I don't expect them to make an exception for me. If someone is unable to perform their job, the company can't make money from the product or service, so I understand that they should not wish to have that employee if they are unemployable.

A lot of people seem to think that a company exists for them, & not the other way around.

Also in the IT field, you'll find a lot of times you work as a contractor for just such an event. If there is an issue, it's much easier & less expensive for a company to terminate the contract than to fire an employee.
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:57 AM

I was an assistant manager at Family Video, briefly after college, the district manager walked in one day while I was making late movie calls. I didn't stop what I was doing, smile, and say hello. He immediately marched over and fired me for "not being perky enough" (Who? Me? It can't be! I'm just a ray of freaking sunshine!). The unemployment office thought I was making things up when I filed my claim, but the company very openly verified that perkiness (or lack thereof) was indeed the reason for my release and didn't attempt to contest my unemployment filing.

Stupid reason to fire someone? Yep. But it's at-will employment. They're allowed to do it. I've never worked anywhere that wasn't an at-will employment state. I've always kind of wondered what not-at-will employment was like...
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#11 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:59 AM

View PostBenignDesign, on 25 November 2013 - 12:57 PM, said:

I've always kind of wondered what not-at-will employment was like...


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#12 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:30 AM

Kind of late to chime in here but there's an additional caveat that nobody's mentioned about "at-will" states. While the labor laws in those states DO allow an employer to fire an employee "at will"...it also allows an employee to leave their job with no repercussions. In some states, the whole "2 weeks notice" thing about giving your boss 2 weeks warning that you're quitting isn't a nicety, it's the law.

In those states, it's my understanding that that's the trade off for having protections in place to keep an employer from firing you with no actual cause. They can't can you at the drop of a hat and you can't simply not show up one day because you decided to sell your labor elsewhere. As was mentioned earlier, most employers do expend some effort and money in locating, recruiting and training new employees. If you took that training and then immediately went elsewhere with it, the employer is kind of screwed on their investment in you.

Mind you, this isn't a common situation even in such states...but the distinction between at-will and not at-will states exists for these reasons.
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#13 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:43 AM

Quote

. In some states, the whole "2 weeks notice" thing about giving your boss 2 weeks warning that you're quitting isn't a nicety, it's the law.

Not that I am doubting you, but I was trying to find the list of states and everything is pointing to 'no, not a law but it may be in your contract'. Cite please? My bing-fu is failing me.
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#14 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: How many jobs are considered "at-will"? Is it worth worrying a

Posted 02 December 2013 - 12:49 PM

You're right. I was confusing it with something else. Historically, at-will employment wasn't versus an individual employee leaving their job without notice...it referred more to organized labor and going on strike without warning.

I'll plead alcohol-assisted memory degradation. The recollection was from a lecture I recall sitting through during my History of Socialism course...which would be nigh on 25 years ago now.
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