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States That Recognize Employment At-will

May 1, 1996
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Related Topics: Wrongful Discharge, Labor Relations, Featured Article
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The following states recognize employment at will as defined: employment that is terminable by either party for any reason.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

Washington, D.C.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

 

  • The majority of at-will rules in the states referenced above were recognized by court decisions rather than by express codification by the legislatures.
  • Montana abolished the at-will doctrine in 1987 when it enacted a comprehensive statute governing employment.
  • South Dakota limited the at-will doctrine by statute in 1985.

Personnel Journal, May 1996, Vol. 75, No. 5, p. 124.

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