“At-Will” Employment Doctrine and the 4 Exceptions You Need to Know

Most employers and employees know what “at-will employment” means.  Essentially, the “at-will” employment doctrine states that an employee can quit a job whenever they want, and an employer can also terminate an employee for any reason without notice or cause.

What most employers and employees alike do not know is that there are generally four exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine that can undermine this defense should litigation arise. Typically, the four following exceptions can undermine an “at-will” affirmative defense:

  1.  Public Policy
  2. Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
  3. Written or Implied Employment Contract
  4. Collective Bargaining Agreement or Trade Union Membership


I was able to contribute to the following article written by Fit Small Business.  To learn more about these four exceptions, please read here.