Other Work Issues Article


Employment-at-Will and Right-to-Work

The terms “employment-at-will” and “right-to-work” are often used in the world of work.  Both of these terms describe specific, and separate, state laws regarding employment.  Arizona is an employment-at-will state and a right-to-work state.  This article explains the difference between these two laws.

Employment-at-Will

Under employment-at-will, either the employee or the employer can end the employment relationship at any time.  Employment-at-will applies to all employees and employers in Arizona.

With employment-at-will, an employee does not guarantee that he will stay on the job for any amount of time. An employee can quit at any time for any reason even if the employer needs the employee to be at work.
On the other hand, employees can end the work relationship by firing or laying off employees at any time. Employers do not guarantee any job will exist for any amount of time.  Employers do not need to have a business reason for firing an employee.  An employer can fire an employee at any time for any reasons even if the employee needs their job.

There are exceptions to “employment-at-will.”  If an employer and employee have a written employment contract, the length of employment and the reasons the employment can end are determined by the contract. Employers may also limit themselves by creating their own policies that can be found in the employer's handbook.

Other exceptions to “employment-at will” are in various laws.  Federal and Arizona state laws stop an employers from firing an employee for a specific reason.  For example, employers cannot fire an employee based upon their race, national origin, disability, age over 40, and other protected statuses. Other laws prevent an employer from firing an employee for taking time off under the Family Medical Leave, participating in jury duty, filing a workers compensation claim, or refusing to participate in any illegal behavior.

Because of all the federal and state laws that place restrictions on the employers’ right to fire employees, “employment-at-will” does not leave employees as vulnerable to job loss “for any reason” as was the case when courts first established “employment-at-will.”

Right-to-Work

The Right-to Work law applies to employees that work for an employer that has a union contract with a union. Under a Right-to-Work law, an employee cannot be forced to join a union.

In some states, but not Arizona, a company and union can have a union contract that requires employees to join the union and pay union dues.  The employee must join the union after being employed for a certain amount of time.

In Arizona, and other Right-to-Work Law states, an employer and union cannot require an employee to join the union.  The employee has a “right-to-work” without joining the union and having to pay union dues to the union.

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QUESTIONS

  • I work in the construction industry as a foreman and have to stop by the office most mornings and afternoons to look at project packets, file time cards, and gather necessary tools for the jobsite. The company does not compensate me for this time at all. Is this illegal? Who do I report it to? In addition, I was recently fired for complaining about this as well as many other safety issues.
  • do you have to be licensed to be a 1099 independant contractor
  • How old do you have to be to get a job in arizona ? online it says 14 but i want to be sure.
  • If I have accrued sick time and I am having to take off the rest of my work day due to my illness. Is my job able to deny that time?
  • I am wanting to get my certified license to become a auto recovery specialist and need to know what felonies will stop me from getting certified or are the any that will stop me from getting it. And of there are felonies that will stop me how can I get it fixed to where I can get it
  • Hellow My workmen compinsation claim injury case was denied. Now I'm still injured have waited opproximently 25 days for services to continue & find out how serious my knee inju ry is. Now i"m out of a job cause my claim was denied help me with some free legal answers who to call by phone  thank you. HELP PLEASE!!!
  • Management at my company have been forging documentation to avoid paying fines to the state. If I become a whistleblower, what are my protections?
  • I work in sales with commissions and might be changing jobs. Will I be due the commissions from my old job?
  • Why am I forced by my employer to pay for online Arizona lottery tickets that customers refuse to pay for when they claim the tickets were not how they asked them to be. I am now even being threatened with being fired if the lottery sales numbers are off! My paycheck has been garnished twice for this and all employees are harrased over this idiotic lottery policy and paranoid with making a wrong register key slip because regardless of actual money lost or just essentially an overring it is Always the same ,lottery number being short real or not, we pay. Is this Legal??
  • I was harassed and bullied for 8 years. My doctor put me on antidepresents. I was fired the end of January for no reason. What can I do. there must be a law permitting people in charge from saying terrible things about you and your family to other employees and to the public. Please I need someone to help me or to point me in the right direction. She has also denied my workman's comp. so I can't have my carpal tunnel surgery.

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