Defeating Employment-At-Will

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The simplest and most direct way to overcome the “employment-at-will” doctrine is to have an express contract, according to the Employment Law Memo.

“Employment-at-will” means that employees can quit, or an employer can fire the employee, at any time and for any reason, without prior notice. This doctrine is a “default” rule of contract law, meaning it applies whenever the employee and employer have not agreed on something else.

Ross Runkel, editor of Employment Law Memo, says the solution is simple: Agree on something else. Replace the “default” contract with an express contract, aw written or verbal agreement.

Here are some things an employer might want to have in an express contract:

An agreement not to compete (non-competition agreement).
An agreement not to use the employer’s trade secrets, customer lists, and so on.
An agreement to arbitrate disputes rather than take them to court.

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