"Employment at-will" refers to a legal doctrine where an employee and employer need not have any contract between the two of them. In such a case, an employee may be dismissed at any time for any reason.
In most states, including Washington, where I live, there are exceptions for:
- Illegal firing -- you can't fire someone for refusing to break the law, for filing an unemployment claim, or for any other reason that goes against established legal principles
- You can't fire someone arbitrarily if you have either oral or written rules for hiring and firing in your business that imply a contract.
That said, I completely agree with the idea of employment at will. It is important for businesses to be able to quickly get rid of employees that aren't working out. And it is important for workers to be able to move out of jobs they don't like.
Many European countries have much stricter rules on hiring and firing and it hurts their economies by limiting worker mobility and making employers leery of making new hires.
The first link is a highly argumentative look at the idea that these laws are bad. I believe that the law he referred to was overturned.
I feel in some cases in this US society we are doomed to specifications and individual perceptions where they are comfortable but not reasonably meted; such the case here "macho environment" per you. The gradient of the individual perception is only useful when it comes to promotion of the individual exclusively-especially in this patriarchal, privileged, elitism society-of which we can never escape it seems.
What we learn and where we learn it; if we find that we need to reevaluate our information and is it really worth it to us to change our thoughts. Are we really who and what we say we are-actually-by what we think and do-really. After that can we admit it? I was (am) then subjected to a "Barbie Doll" perception by my environment. An envisioned perception engrained by all sorts of media.
I was a "threat" to the male egoism and other societal 'isms'. Regardless, if I proved I could, did, and was able to do the same job well if not better, didn't matter.
So, the imbalance of power is so often accessed in comparison-I would not conform hence, I was eliminated.
Like I stated before, there is no such thing as PROTECTION especially, in employment unless you are an "elite" person in some way-period.
Why is it so hard to find information on "At Will" employment specifically, why are there occasional conversations on this subject and no real movement, why has it not been found to be a ludicrous concept? Elitism, manipulation and conformity of the masses in my judgment is evident so often than not.
All CAN be protected-the question is who/what would then suffer?
Of the 8 jurors at my hearing, all but 1 were Caucasian, all but 2 were female.
The (male) firefighter(s) who were found with "dirty urine" on several occasions and two found guilty of federal offences were still allowed (by the City) to work as firefighters even after my termination and allowed promotions and to retire with their benefits. The perception is then reinforced-this accepted ideology of conformity desired and manipulated by hierarchy. It was evident that I was exceptional in my performance-but I refused to be controlled; so did not fit the "comfortable" form.
The question was- " Employee and "AT WILL" doctrine: Is employee protection a myth?
This is an example of how at will can go terribly wrong for many of us. The exclusivity of discipline can not only be used in Quid pro quo but also to manipulate, discourage and defeat morality and ethics.
Since I left there has been only one female promoted to officer (2005). Affirmative action allowed that females should be hired on Cincinnati Fire Division in 1985. I was only the ninth female hired where the member strength was 700+; I had been a firefighter for 5 years, a supervisor for at least three, the testing allows officership (by testing) after only two years. I am the first female in CFD 200yr. history to achieve Fire Lt./ Paramedic/Specialist, but that didn't matter. I was disciplined indescriminately for any reason because it was available and allowed to be done. My termination reason read "too many disciplines". No more.
Remember this when you attempt to represent others.