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Legal Matters: At Will Employment

Legal Matters with Gafkay Law

Most employees in Michigan, who are not a member of a union, are at-will. What does at-will employment mean? What that means is that you can be discharged at any time, with or without cause, and without notice. In other words, an employer doesn't have to have a reason to terminate an employee. It also means that an employee who is unhappy with his or her employment can leave the employment, with or without a reason and do not have to provide notice. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, employees are not required to give 2 weeks, if he or she is an at-will employee. An employee may have incentive to give notice because an employer policy may provide for pay out of vacation time not used if notice is provided.

At-will employment doesn't mean that an employer can terminate an employee for illegal reasons. At-will employees cannot be discharged for protected reasons like, race, age, gender, disability, religion, or national origin. At-will employees also have the right not to be subject to retaliation for making legitimate complaints regarding discrimination or other illegal activities. So, even though at-will employees can discharged for any reason, employees can still not be discharged for the wrong reasons.

Information provided by Julie Gafkay of Gafkay Law.