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.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My work did not pay me for two weeks instead they give me $40 loans that I had to pay back. I paid back one. But for my last check they cashed it without my permission took the money I owe and give me the rest in an envelope. I want to know is it OK for them to do that?
  • Is it legal to street perform ? I have searched street perform and busker to no avail. Do I need a special permit? Can I just go to a store, ask for the managers permission, and stand outside singing and collecting tips?
  • An employee who dislikes me filed a false claim against me saying I swore at him. Hr brought in an invstigator without telling me and made me answer questions and then I was told I would have to take a polygraph. What are my rights. I have been a high achieving employee for 9 years and was offered a promotion last week. Now I think they want to fire me and it has ruined my credibility.
  • Is it legal for management to force servers to pay for misordered items and or walk outs...im new to management and have been receiving two sides of this story...the manager above me has had many complaints and im not trying to get caught up in any possible legal trouble...any help would be greatly appreciated ..i know arizona is a right to work state but ...i just dont no where the line get s drawn
  • Can an employer require an employee to take anger management or behavior modification courses, or see a therapist.
  • If I worked at a company for 2 years and they say they lost my file is it mandatory that I fill out another job application
  • I quit my job in May to seek a higher position. Contacted my former employer July and let them know it was not working out and would like to come back. Was told they would call me in october when the position became available again. Found out they offered the position to a current employee, but, never contaced me to offer me my position back as stated they would. What legal recourse do have at this point?
  • 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??
  • can an employer hire a 17 year old as a sales person at a dealership? they do have a drivers license.

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