All workers desire job security, as it provides both financial stability and peace of mind. Unfortunately, many states, including Ohio, operate under at-will employment laws.
Understanding these laws is crucial to ensure your employer conducts itself appropriately when it comes to firings. Here are a few key points to keep you informed.
Understanding at-will employment
At-will employment laws give employers the power to fire a worker with or without cause in the absence of an employment contract, which will contain clauses related to employer and worker obligations. An employer can decide to let a worker go due to poor performance or a negative work attitude. However, employers do not have to provide a reason for firings.
Employers benefit from at-will employment laws, as they are free to terminate workers as they see fit. These laws can also benefit employees, as they allow you to quit your job with or without cause without worries about legal reprisal. Despite the freedoms afforded to employers, there are many exceptions to at-will employment laws.
Restrictions on employer firings
Much like there are rules regarding at-will employment, there are also rules that prevent employers from discriminating against workers. Terminating a worker based on certain characteristics is discrimination, and employers who do so can face significant lawsuits.
For example, employers cannot let a worker go based on the person’s age, religion, skin color, race, sex or gender representation, disability, or country of origin. Along with these federally protected characteristics, states can have their own unique anti-discrimination laws, and employers must abide by those as well.
Additionally, an employer cannot fire a worker out of retaliation. That means you have the right to report unfair work practices to the proper authority without fear of recrimination.