Doctrine Paper

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Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Employment-At-Will Doctrine


This is the category of the problem within the area of employment, more often identified by people seeking help from the staff of legal services and volunteers from the Bar Association in Fairfax County Bill Employment Pro Bono, (for example "I was fired, and I want to sue ..."). Due to the doctrine of employment-at-will, just a small percentage of workers in Virginia claims have merit enough to bring a court challenge to the termination of employment. The primary resource for a dismissed employee is claiming benefits under the unemployment compensation law. Generally, to have an employment contract that is enforceable in Virginia; it has to be in writing.

Most employees do not have a written contract is considered "employees-at-will" and may be dismissed for cause or without cause. There is a growing body of law (which expand and contract rights by interpretations of legislative, judicial and common law) establishing exceptions to employment-at-will. If an opportunity, to challenge the termination of employment shall be because something in the circumstances of the termination or adapt to fit one of those exceptions that limit the employer's right to dismiss an employee with or without cause (Rothstein, 2005).

Exceptions to the Doctrine of employment at will

The following is a partial list that briefly explains the main recognized limitations to date in Virginia, on the dismissal of an employee. We refer to the problems most commonly mentioned. No attempt is an exhaustive list that identifies all claims could be valid as agents and advocates always bring tested in court new theories in public policy (and other actions in damages) trying expand the list of protections recognized in common law.

Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42USC, 2000e ET seq

This law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national, or gender. Also, (in theory) provides protection against retaliatory actions that an employer might make against an employee who has filed a claim civil rights. The federal law applies to an employer, who has fifteen or more employees.

Civil Rights Act of 1866 and 1870, 42USC, 1981.1982

These laws prohibit discrimination based on race. There are differences between these laws and prohibition of racial discrimination under Title VII. No need to drain administrative remedies (such as when claims under Title VII). It should be noted the burden of proof in a violation under section 1981 may be more difficult achieve it must be shown ...
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