We hear it, see it, read it and are told it nearly every day: “At will employment means that you can be fired at any time for any reason.” You see it in Employee Handbooks. You hear it in discussions and negotiations. You even read it in Court decisions.
It is a misunderstanding, a falsehood, a grave error, and a distinct disservice to everyone. It’s just not true, and it’s just completely false. I call it “The Big ‘At Will’ Lie.”
What does “At Will” really mean? “At will employment means that an employee can be fired (i) when the law says you can be fired, but not at other times, and (ii) for the reasons the law says you can be fired, and not for reasons the law deems improper.”
Those who know the truth understand that the so-called “At Will” doctrine of employment is way overblown. It has many, many exceptions, limitations and conditions, and more “holes” are created in this outdated concept each and every day by intelligent legislators, wise judges and fed-up juries.