What Does Employment At-Will Mean?
Unless you have an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or fall under certain civil-service rules, the general law in both Wisconsin and California is that you are an at-will employee and your employer can decline employment, fire, demote, fail to promote, reduce hours, change schedules or do any other adverse employment action for any reason whatsoever. They are allowed to take these actions based on false information, they can be unfair, they can do so without having any reason at all.
When is an Adverse Employment Action Illegal?
The only time an adverse employment action is illegal is if the action is taken because of your membership in a protected class (See Discrimination tab for your State), because of your engagement in a legally protected activity (See Retaliation page) or refusal to act against public policy (See Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy page).
While at-will employment does provide freedom for you to leave your job and explore other opportunities without risk of liability or a duty to your old employer, the doctrine is often abused by employers to take advantage of your years of hard work, terminating your employment the moment it becomes inconvenient or less profitable for the company.
What Can You Do?
Luckily, there are a number of exceptions to the rule of at-will employment. That is why the Law Office of Adam M. Kent prides itself in understanding the many various and often complex laws that work to provide employees with certain rights and protections.
Contact Our Qualified Employee Rights Attorneys
Contact our skilled employee rights attorneys to discuss your unique situation in more detail. We know every case is unique and will treat you with the respect you deserve. Call for an initial consultation to discuss your situation in more detail.