Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey

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. It is a powerful tool for practitioners articulating their arguments using analogies and examples from the laws of other states.

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Melinda J. Caterine


Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey provides a comprehensive analysis of the employment at will doctrine, as well as the exceptions that various states have applied. Using a uniform topic structure that provides a comparative view across states, this treatise is extremely helpful for lawyers with a multi-jurisdictional practice, as well as for those seeking persuasive authority from other states.


The treatise analyzes, for every state:

  • The creation of enforceable employment agreements through employee handbooks, written personnel policies, and oral assurances

  • Common law claims for wrongful discharge and state statutes prohibiting termination

  • The covenant of good faith and fair dealing in express and implied employment contracts

  • The effect of disclaimers on the employment at will relationship

  • 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


Bloomberg BNA authors and editors are practicing professionals with insider perspectives and real-life experience. Learn more about this book’s authors and editors.
Melinda J. Caterineis a shareholder in the Portland, ME office of Littler Mendelson P.C., a national labor and employment firm representing management.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law


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