Blog

When At-Will Works


Montana is the only state that does not follow the at-will doctrine for general employment. However, an employee in Montana who is still within the company-determined probationary period (or, if the company does not have a probationary period, the first six months of employment) can still be termed under what is essentially an at-will relationship.

HOWEVER – there’s good news. Done properly, at-will can benefit the employer. The most important thing is to mention at-will every time (or at least most times) an employee or job candidate signs a document.

Case in point – Radio Shack. A former employee alleged that Radio Shack terminated her for medical reasons. But the employee:

  1. First, expressly agreed with the terms of her “Preliminary Online Application” that, if employed by the Company, she would be employed at-will. The document also provided that if she was hired, her at-will employment could only be modified by a separate written document signed by the employee and an executive officer of the Company.

  2. Second, in her formal “Application for At-Will Employment,” the plaintiff again agreed to these same terms.

  3. Third, in acknowledging receipt of her “Team Answer Book,” the plaintiff signed a form confirming her at-will employment status with the Company.

  4. Moreover, there was also evidence of a personnel record noting the plaintiff had taken a leave of absence, which stated that “The below named person is an AT-WILL employee and no information on this form shall change the employment status.”

That’s a lot of documentation to support the at-will concept. And a good reminder with what to do is here, from McGuire Woods LLP.

Recent Posts

See All

Employees First

Dave Berkus is an accomplished speaker, author and angel investor.  He provides common sense advice to all businesses through his blog, Berkonomics. His recent post deals with the frustrations of busi

© Tanzanite Leadership Development   |   Privacy Policy

info@tanzaniteleadership.com  |  California, USA