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'At Will' employment, what are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Slug71, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. HarlDane


    Jul 26, 2005
    San Joaquin Valley
    That is something most employees don't understand.

    I just landed a great job with a great company that goes out of their way to hire the best people they can find and then do everything they can to keep them there. I went through four interviews and based on the questions and comments they made to me during that process, one of their main concerns was that I would leave in 5-10 years with all of the very valuable experience and knowledge they invested in me. They obviously didn't come out and say it, but it was very apparent to me from the beginning and I have no doubt that I landed the job because I was able to best convince them that I was there for the long term.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  2. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    It's amazing the hiring or lack thereof we have had the last three years.

    Ours is hard because of the demands we place on people you do not find in other emloyment.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012

  3. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Think like an employer - using your own cash to run a business.

    Would be more or less willing to try and expand your business & hire an additional employee?

    If - once you hired a person you had to keep them forever - plus provide them health care, retirement, pay them at least $XX per hour.


    If - you could pay the salary & benefits you both agree to, terminate them any time you wanted.

    If you want more jobs to be created - making it easier to get rid of people actually does it better than not allowing people to be terminated.

  4. Jbar4Ranch

    Jbar4Ranch B-Western Hero Millennium Member

    Apr 3, 1999
    Near Helena, Montana
    Montana was, and may still be, the only state with a law against At Will Employment. An employer needs a valid reason to fire you here, HOWEVER... that doesn't stop them from firing you anyway, they just call it something else.

    I was sent home, "pending an investigation", on April 4th from my job as Gun Room Manager at Wholesale Sports for saying to one of my problem employees, "Piss off, Chuck". No word the next day, so I called the store to speak to the manager and was told he was on vacation. He wouldn't answer his cell and didn't return my calls, so I called the "Senior Human Resources Consultant" at our Federal Way store and, in short, was told, "Dave told me you quit and I've already separated you."

    "Job Abandonment", and just like that, I was in the soup line. He also fired my immediate superior four days ago, but that's another story.
  5. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator

    Or, be very very good at providing needed skills, talents, or abilities.

    There's a universe of opportunity out there, even in the worst of times. The variety of needs to be filled in a free market is infinite.
  6. Slug71


    Mar 7, 2010
    Oregon - U.S.A
    Forever?? Because a warning is required before termination?

    I hardly doubt businesses with employees belonging to union would object to having to give a warning and take unions out of the picture.

    I will bet money my ex employer would love that. 3 lazy ass employees would no longer be working there if they weren't union and the warning thing was in place.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  7. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    By warning do you mean - you are losing your job in 60 days - or you have been given X warnings because of bad behavior and after this many you are terminated?

    It was an example - looking at both ends of the extreme can help folks understand the concept.

    The point I am making is fairly simple - the more obstacles you put in place to terminate someone - the less likely the employer will be to hire someone in the first place.


    It would be much better if there was a safe harbor employers could use - say - you must pay 2 weeks pay at termination - or a week per year of service - whatever - just have a known limit - that would allow an employer to fire whoever they wanted for any reason -


    The uncertainty of - if you fire this person you may get in legal trouble.

    The result would be more people with jobs.

    As a side note laws based on age or race or gender -

    Hurt the very people the laws are trying to protect - more would be hired if they did not have a special legal class that makes it MUCH more difficult to fire them.

    It is typical government action - they want to solve a problem and end up hurting the very thing they want to support.

    BTW - I am not against some basic regs to control outright abuse - but when a company decides they no longer need / want a person working for them they should have the ability to say - Sorry - but you are no longer needed.

  8. Slug71


    Mar 7, 2010
    Oregon - U.S.A
    Yes I agree.

    Warning as in, 'You can't do this again for what ever reason OR I'm not happy with your performance...blah blah blah.......if I don't see any improvement I have no choice but to replace you'.....

    A point I think many people miss is that this also creates a paper trail PROTECTING a employer against liability.
  9. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    Sometimes you need to get rid of a few people because business is down - it has nothing to do with performance.

    In some countries it is almost impossible to do this - the result is companies don't expand for fear that the potential business will not pan out and they will then be stuck with extra staff and no way to get rid of them.

    But this is sort of the point - a company should not need a paper trail - they should be able to say - we no longer wish for you to work here -

    The paper trail is only required to protect yourself from legal action - the EEOC can also be a major PITA - I am pretty sure that their efforts - as noble as they may be - tying to keep employers from firing someone unfairly - have actually reduced the number of jobs by millions of positions.

    What is better - having 25,000 people per year fired for no valid - supported - legal - reason - COMPLETELY UNFAIR -

    But increase the total jobs by 500,000?

    Are protecting these 25K people worth the 500K lost jobs?

    (I am making up numbers - but no doubt the additional new jobs created would be X times the number of people fired unfairly)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  10. Slug71


    Mar 7, 2010
    Oregon - U.S.A
    In this case I believe the company should be able to terminate.
    But that would be more of a lay-off than being fired. Laid off still = a reference.
  11. JW1178


    Jul 17, 2009
    Here is what I HATE about "At Will".... it's yet another idea really only applies against WHITE MALES. Yeah, you might get away with it with a white female, but go fire a black female lesbian and give her no reason, and next thing you know you'll have paperwork served from her attorney with their theory on why you fired her.

    On the other hand, I think part of why minorities have higher unemployment rate is because of this very issue. I've heard several of my employers over the past tell me that "once you hire them, you can't get rid of them". So, at will works, but sometimes it works against you too. Then again, that freshly "let go" of white guy comes in, you know you can give him a shot, if you don't like him, you can get rid of him. So I guess it depends on how you look at it.
  12. Slug71


    Mar 7, 2010
    Oregon - U.S.A
    Good point.
  13. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

    So let me explain something.

    If you piss management off, you will be gone. It doesnt matter if you get a warning or not. In fact, you probably made out better. In this case they probably terminated you but agreed not to fight unemployment with firing for termination.

    If you make them document why they fired you with warnings, written warnings, performance plans, etc, management then has a very string case why you shouldnt get unemployment.

    No matter how good you are, if you are a PITA and management has to spend too much time dealing with you then you wont be long in the company.

    Also, I suspect there is a lot more to this story and you are not telling us how this really happened. Most of the time a manager isnt going to tell upper management that you didnt want her to say anything to them. Minor crap like that upper management has managers to take care of. I suspect you tried to move something you didnt like, up the chain and forced them to deal with it and you wont win against management. You should learn this.
  14. Roger1079


    Mar 22, 2008
    South FL
    I have been an at will employee at my last two jobs. The first I was with from early 2000 ontil early 2007. I left on good terms giving my 2 weeks notice, not because I had to, but as a professional courtesy. I know for a fact this employer has let people go without cause or notice, sometimes highly justified, other times not so much.

    The place I am with now I have been at since late 2006 (there was a few months of overlap where I was working both jobs full time). This comapany is much larger and although they make it clear we are at will employees, I have never seen them terminate someone without cause or notice. They always have write ups or associated paperwork, and the option in most cases is given for the employee to tender their resignation.

    Unions suck. Period. I have held union jobs and the union never promoted a productive workplace. It promoted laziness and an untouchable sense of security for the most worthless employees. We had one guy who transferred down from another state who was employed with this company for 5 years. He had a drug problem and was taking oxycontin at work in dosages that could put any normal person in a coma. He would either be an incoherent drooling mess or pass out at his terminal completely. The company could not drug test him, without written consent from the local union rep. Only after witnessing this behavior did the union rep allow the test, and even then the test had to be scheduled and could not be random. Of course he failed, even with the test being scheduled for him 30 days in advance. Rather than being terminated as he should have been, the company was forced to send him to rehab and let him relapse THREE times before termination of employment was allowed. This took a timespan of almost a year to complete where we were either shortstaffed because he was virtually unconcious at his workspace or away at rehab. In my eyes, this company should have canned him and sent him to rehab as a good gesture for him to get himself together right after an on the spot drug test.

    All BS aside, if you work for a good employer and are a good employee, being at will should make no difference. I know I have never given it any real thought until this post. Just my .02.
  15. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

    Something you are not understanding. A large part of being a "team" is getting along. No matter how good you are, if you cant get along you are more hassle than you are worth. You can be the most skilled person at your job, but your net effect to the team may be negative.

    Small businesses are run much on personal opinion. Many decisions of the future of a company are based upon personal opinion.
  16. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

    Did you say this?
  17. AZ is an "at will" state, and I'm so happy it is.

    I tell people all the time that I know I'm not indispensable, I strive to make myself less dispensable by doing a quality job for my employer, and get more jobs based on my skills and knowledge through word of mouth.

    I've landed us some pretty big contracts from my skills, and was even requested to do the work personally. Had I been a union guy, I don't think I'd have the incentive to do better.

    Thing is, when I first came to the company, I had a supervisor that hated me, and even he didn't know why (he told other employees this info). I didn't get hired full time after the first probationary period because of him. Two months later, I was hired full time, and a few months after that, they canned the previous supervisor. I now have what he had, truck, raise, elevated status in the company. :supergrin:

    I had to prove my worth to them, and now, it's all a bad memory, but I still strive to be the best employee in the company. And no, no brown nosing for me, I don't need to with my performance. Even when I've screwed up, I told them up front what I'd done, and even offered to fix it on my own time. Never heard a word about it, just make sure it doesn't happen again. That AZ heat can sometimes fry your brain when making critical measurements :wow:

    Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

  18. TheJ

    TheJ NRA Life Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Yes and no.

    How would that save them money?
  19. Remander


    Nov 9, 2002
    A federal law, ERISA, prohibits employers from terminating employees prior to the vesting of their retirement plans in order to avoid the payment of a pension or the issuance of other pension benefits to the employee.