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

  • Can an individual sue my closed down LLC and me personally? I have no assets with this business.
  • I was hurt by a coworker on sep 29 2012 boss begged me not to file as he put it I was just bruised 3 people heard and saw that comment and that a false claim would rase his rates . the pain got so bad I used my own ins and within months had multiple surgerys 8 within the year of acc he never claimed me knowing I was having all these surgerys due to his coworkers fault I feel my mental and phys played a role in this as 4 months before we had a house fire no ins that left us homeless raising 3 kids that are not mine with no gov help also dealing with mental issues seein the docs for that to help
  • 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.
  • i work in the cleaning industry my boss stopped paying us for the time we commute from one job to the other we drive his truck to do work for him we are paid hourly so for the 1 to 3 hours ea. day we are in route to a job we dont receive compensation for our time ? and he also has started putting, what should be a gas allowance on my check but has it described as a reimbrestment and he dont list correct the total of my deduct. in the total deduct column i cant tell if i am paying the taxes on the gas money please help i need to quit if he is not legally abided to pay drive time thank you
  • my boss does not pay any of his emplyees with a pay check everyone is paid in cash and he does not report all hours worked for all employees what should i do
  • My employer will not let me see my personal file.Is this legal?
  • 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 my former employer still us my name and title on their website 3 years later.
  • How do I know if my employer is violating laws against blocking me from serving jury duty? They have paid jury duty time but will not let me take it without extending my contract, a highly undesirable result and something I perceive to be retaliation. Should I obtain counsel for this or am I being overdramatic? Thank you!
  • I am a truck driver and I drive the company truck. My company is asking me to sign a policy in which if there is any damage to the truck I will have to pay out my own pocket. If we do not sign the policy we will be fired. Is this legal? What type of attorney would I hire to review the policy?

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS