Example Of Research Paper On Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Workplace, Employment, Employee, Belief, Theory, Doctrine, Georgia, Exception

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/16

Employment at-will doctrine refers to a presumption that the employment is only for an indefinite period of time and therefore it can be terminated by either the employer or the employee. (Halbert et al, 2012). There is no any proper basis for one’s job to be terminated. In explaining this doctrine, the employee is allowed to exit from his or her job place for any given reason or time. Furthermore, the doctrine also allows the employers to fire their employees for no any proper reason as well. It is therefore a two-edged sword. This kind of doctrine is found to be oppressive to the employee as they have no job security. On the other side, this doctrine may affect the employer in case where an employee is allowed to quit the job at any given time without proper reason. The employer may not get a good replacement and be able to train the new employee.
According to this doctrine, it is not always true that an employer can legally fire an employee as proposed by this doctrine on the employee at will. In this doctrine, there are three main exceptions or scenarios in which it may not hold (Grimsley, 2015). One of them is the breach of the implied covenant of good faith and the fair dealing. 11 states only recognizes this exception. It represents the most significant departure from the traditional employment at will doctrine. This exception talks of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in each and every employment relationship. In this exception, any employee termination that is made by an evil motive of rather motivated by malice is prohibited.
Another exception is the breach of contract. This exception is allowed in over a half of the states that are on the basis of the express or the implied promise by the employer. In this exception, an employee is guaranteed a high degree of job security that is stipulated in the contract. The employees agree to sign the policy that is found in the employees’ handout or in the policy memorandums that are given to the employees when they are hired. In this case, an oral long-term agreement may not be accepted, as it needs a written agreement signed by the employee and his or her employer.
The last exception is in the violation of the public policy. There are several exceptions to the employment-at-will that are based on the violation of the public policy in the courts by the jurisdiction. This statute contains the penalties, the constitutional provisions, and the judicial opinions. In such a case, the courts will be able to recognize the public policy exception in the case where the policy in question has a statutory basis than when it does not have any of these requirements.
The primary actions that should be taken to limit the liability and the impact of the operation is to have some written policies that will define the operations in such related. In this case, the rights and privileges of the employees are to be written down as well as the laws governing their operations at the workplace (Kysar, 2010). By having all this, some of the liabilities and the impact of such operations will be limited at a great deal. This will help the growth of the organization as well as motivating the employees. The best ethical theories that support the decision is based on the self-interest, and enlightened (Grimsley, 2015). In this theory, the decisions made are based solely on the basis of the self-interest to an extent to which is allowed by the law. This decision is independent and it might, for this reason, seem as unethical but in the real sense, it is aimed at producing wealth as well as creating new jobs (Halbert et al., 2012). This will protect the employees and reduce liabilities and the impact based on the employment at will doctrine.
The State of Georgia is among few states that do not recognize the privileges of the employees, and thus they ignore the standard exceptions that are implied in the employment at-will doctrine. In this sense, Georgia is considered to be the worst state in the country in the matter of protecting the rights of the employees (Kysar, 2010). The employers from Georgia have a right to fire their employees without any laws being followed. In the States of Georgia, most the workers are usually referred to as employees at will. In this sense, the employees in this state of Georgia work at the will of their employers and thus their employers can fire them at any given time, without any proper reason and with no any legal notice being issued before one is fired. In Georgia, workers’ protection comes from the federal law of the country rather than the state laws (Halbert et al., 2012). In addition, unions in the states of Georgia also have a role in protecting their employees.
A real world example in Georgia, in the application of the Georgia Employment At-Will Doctrine, it is a case of Poole v. In Home Health LLC (Barnes et al., 2015). In this case, the Georgia Court of Appeal upheld the Georgia’s employment-at-will doctrine even in a sympathetic situation in the case, the employer who was a local hospice hired the plaintiff on a full time job in a particular location. Despite this, the hospice had decided to close that particular location. Thereafter, the hospice issue a letter to the plaintiff confirming her acceptance for that specific position informing her that she will report on the job on 6th August 2009. Following the acceptance letter from the hospice, the plaintiff quitted her job on 24th July 2009 where she was working at an area hospital for the last 30 years (Barnes et al, 2015). Before she started working at the hospice, she informed that the location was to be closed and thus rescinding their promise of employment.
Following this situation, the plaintiff decided to sue the hospice and tried to get around to the employment-at-will doctrine.in the court, she could not make a claim for the legal relief. She went ahead and argued that the court should not dismiss her fraud claim before considering whether or not she had an equitable claim for the relief as an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine. Despite this, the court dismissed her claims. The employment offer by the hospice did not state a length of employment, making her employment terminable at the will of the either party. Despite some exceptions to this employment at-will doctrine, the Georgia court of Appeals do not create an exception (Barnes et al, 2015).


BARNES, P., & RAY, J. (2015). POOLE v. IN HOME HEALTH LLC. Findlaw. Retrieved 27 January 2015, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1629686.html
 Grimsley, S. (2015). Employee Rights: Employment-At-Will Doctrine & Exceptions - Video & Lesson Transcript | Education Portal. Education Portal. Retrieved 25 January 2015, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/employee-rights-employment-at-will-doctrine-exceptions.html
Halbert, T., & Ingulli, E. (2012). Law and Ethics in the Business Environment (7th ed.). Cengage Learning
Kysar, D. A. (2010). Regulating from nowhere: Environmental law and the search for objectivity. New Haven [Conn.: Yale University Press.

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