Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey, Second Edition

This treatise provides a comprehensive analysis of the employment at will doctrine in every state. The desk reference uses the same set of topics for each state, facilitating both comparative and single-state research.

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The employment at will doctrine allows an employer to discharge an employee for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, the doctrine has gradually been eroded over the years through legislative and regulatory enactments, as well as by court decisions relying on the common law, and each state has developed its own unique version, with unique exceptions and limitations.

Now revised in its Second Edition, Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey is a comprehensive analysis of the employment at will doctrine, its exceptions, and limitations. Equally valuable for attorneys who represent individual employees and for those who represent employers, the treatise uses a uniform topic structure 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 with a multi-jurisdictional practice, who represent companies with employees in multiple states, or who seek persuasive authority to expand or limit the law in their own state. 


Coverage in each state chapter includes:

  • The creation of enforceable employment agreements through employee handbooks, written personnel policies, and oral assurances
  • Common law claims for wrongful discharge
  • The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
  • 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, including fraud, intentional interference with a contract, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy
  • State statutes prohibiting termination based on classifications 


Bloomberg BNA authors and editors are practicing professionals with insider perspectives and real-life experience. Learn more about this book’s authors and editors.

David L. Johnson is an attorney at Butler Snow LLP, Nashville, TN.



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