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Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey

Employment At Will _h


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Get detailed analysis of state law causes of action for wrongful termination

Main Volume Information

A Supplement to this volume is now available.Order now.

A reformulation of Employment Termination: Rights and Remedies, Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey provides a comprehensive analysis of the employment at will doctrine, as well as the many exceptions recognized by the courts. The doctrine serves as the foundation for legal analysis of the employment relationship in the United States, and nearly all states recognize it in some form—and then apply their own set of unique exceptions to it. Practitioners, both plaintiff-side and defense-side, therefore need to understand each of the applicable exceptions in the state or states of interest to them. 

This treatise, the latest addition to the State-by-State Survey Series, was prepared by practitioners in each jurisdiction under the auspices of the Employment at Will Subcommittee of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law. It uses the same set of topics for each state to provide a comparative view across states, as well as to allow for research on an individual state. This format is extremely helpful for lawyers who practice in multiple jurisdictions, as well as for lawyers who practice primarily in a single jurisdiction, particularly when they wish to argue by analogy or example from the laws of another state. 

Each state chapter provides analysis of the following topics: 

  • The creation of enforceable employment agreements through employee handbooks or other written personnel policies, and oral assurances
  • Common law claims for wrongful discharge
  • The covenant of good faith and fair dealing in express and implied employment contracts
  • The public policy exception to the doctrine of employment at will
  • The burden of proof necessary to sustain a claim of wrongful discharge
  • What constitutes "just cause" for purposes of termination
  • The effect of disclaimers on the employment at will relationship
  • Potential damages in a wrongful discharge claim
  • Related tort claims arising out of the employment relationship
  • State statues that prohibit termination based on certain protected classifications

Practitioners can count on this treatise to provide the most up-to-date analysis of the employment at will doctrine and its many exceptions—and its easy-to-use state-by-state format will make it a daily resource. 


Supplement Information

The 2013 Supplement updates the main volume with information on two additional torts for each state:

  • Self-defamation/compelled self-publication
  • False imprisonment

The 2013 Supplement also discusses new state law developments, including:

  • An amendment to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibiting employers from considering religious dress practices and/or religious grooming practices when making employment decisions, including hiring and termination
  • Additional cases involving claims of public policy exceptions from the at will doctrine in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa and Massachusetts
  • The prohibition on the termination of an employee due to gender identity in Massachusetts
  • Additional decisions involving Implied-in-Fact Contracts analyzed in Kansas

Main Volume Information

2011/1,318 pp. Hardcover/ABAWEB1927


Supplement Information

2013/374 pp. Softcover/ISBN 978-1-61746-290-0/ABAWEB2290

Main Volume Information 

About the Editor-in-Chief
Melinda J. Caterine is a partner at the New England office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a national labor and employment firm representing management.
Employment Rights and Responsibilities CommitteeABA Section of Labor and Employment Law 


Supplement Information

About the Editor-in-Chief
Melinda J. Caterine is a partner at the New England office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a national labor and employment firm representing management.
Employment Rights and Responsibilities CommitteeABA Section of Labor and Employment Law