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What must employers do in employment litigation?

In a work relationship, both employers and employees have rights. The nature of the relationship, whether it is employment-at-will or for-cause employment, will dictate the rights that each party is afforded.

For-cause employment means that the employer has to have a legitimate reason for firing and individual. The firing has to be for cause. Those employees that are employed on a for-cause basis usually have some type of employer-employee agreement in place that dictates the terms. For example, when a place of employment is unionized, a collective bargaining agreement, an agreement between management and the union, will determine what is and what isn't appropriate when it comes to firing an employee.

Most jobs in the United States are on an at-will basis. At-will employment means that either party can terminate the accord at any time. There are no contractual obligations that would keep either a boss or a worker from ending their working together. Arguably, firing an at-will employee-at-will is a lot less complicated because employers have a lot of freedom when terminating an employment relationship with an at-will employee.

No matter how an employee-employer relationship is described, the employer has to ensure that they follow all federal and state laws when it comes to terms and conditions of employment. . These include civil rights laws prohibiting certain kinds of discrimination in the workplace. For instance, even at-will employees generally can't be legally fired simply because the employer wants someone younger, or someone of a different gender. Other important restrictions include laws prohibiting retaliation in the workplace when it violates public policy. For example, an employer cannot fire the employee for exercising his or her legal right to properly report unsafe working conditions to the authorities.

While employers have a lot of freedom in handling most employment relationships, there are important restrictions. It can be very important for employers to have legal help to make sure they don't step into any traps when it comes to terminating employment, and it can be crucial to have legal help when a former employee raises claims of wrongful termination.

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