What’s the use of an Employment at Will policy if company afraid to fire?

If the company knows of poor performing employees yet managers are discouraged to release them for fear of the EEOC, what is the point of an Employment at Will policy?

Posted 09-09-2015

Rita M. Risser Chai replies:

The short answer is that Employment at Will policies do not protect you from discrimination claims, only from claims of wrongful termination. And even in wrongful termination cases, Employment at Will policies may not help that much. That’s why in our employment law training we recommend that employers treat employees fairly in the course of terminating them. Having said that, a lot of employers seem to be afraid of terminating any employees, even those with well-documented misconduct or poor performance. Employees can be fired, it just has to be done the right way.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.