In several US states, employers initiate contracts called work-at-will. This type of employment contract allows those on either end of the agreement to terminate within a moment’s notice. While this method of contracted employment might work for some, it doesn’t always work in the employee’s favor. If you need to quit to go on holiday, then yes. If you are forced into quitting due to workplace hostility, on the other hand, then this type of employment contract can do more harm than good.
When you are ending an at-will employment agreement there are steps you can take to protect yourself in a legal sense. This article seeks to outline these steps to make it easier for you to know your rights.
How to End a Work-At-Will Agreement?
If you find that work is getting in the way of your wellbeing, or even if you find something new, you must end things with your current employer before you move on. You will need documentation from them to say that you no longer work there, so that you can accurately fill in your tax return. These tips will help you end things smoothly.
Termination of At-Will Work
An at-will work agreement means that both parties agree to work for one another for however long they choose. While this means it is easier to start working on the spot, it also means that American companies can fire masses of people at the drop of a hat. Technically speaking, employees have few rights in this instance. Either party can end the contract at once. This means you can easily become jobless simply by showing up five minutes late.
Notify your Employer in Writing
If you want to terminate your at-will work agreement amicably, then give your workplace notice that they must replace you. A month’s notice is a generous amount of time for them to hire someone and start training them. Two weeks’ notice is polite and acceptable. Leaving on the spot may mean you scupper your chances at a good reference.
Should you end your employment this way there should be no further recourse. However, there are times when a simple letter is not enough to save the situation.
However, there are times when your employer is not allowed to sack you. If you suspect your employer has wrongfully terminated your agreement, you may want to seek compensation for your losses. Since you can lose your job at any time in most US positions, there are limited reasons why you might file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. These reasons all involve protected characteristics.
Even though employees can lose their jobs for simple things, there are characteristics which define your human rights, for which your employer cannot punish you. These things include:
- Your race
- Your sex, gender identity, or becoming pregnant.
- Your color
- Your religious beliefs
- And others noted by the EEOC.
Retaliation from Employers
Another area where states like Philadelphia give employees protection lies in employment retaliation. Your employer should not fire you for things like whistleblowing or reporting harassment. If they do, you may seek out a wrongful termination lawyer to represent your rights.