Many states have a right to hire/right to fire practice in place and Tennessee is one of them that follow the Employment at Will practice. Our office does get calls about individuals who feel that they have been wrongfully terminated, but do they have a case? Let's take a look at Employment at Will in a little more detail.
Employees in Tennessee frequently have questions in regards to the definition of Employment at Will. This is a common law notion stating that, without any type of formal employment contract, employees have the right to quit their jobs any time they want to, regardless of whether or not they have a reason. By the same token, employers have the right to fire employees any time, whether they have a legitimate reason to do so or not.
Employment at Will policies cannot be utilized by employers in any discriminatory manner, according to federal law. Employers are not allowed to fire employees because of their national origin, sex, religion, color, or race. These laws also make it illegal for employers to fire workers because of their age, if that individual is over the age of 40. Disabled workers cannot be terminated due to any handicap. If you are fired because of one of those reasons, then you can pursue a wrongful termination case.
It would be extremely unwise for employers to make it a habit of firing workers without just cause. Should an employer choose to operate in such a manner, it would quite likely weaken the morale of all workers. It would probably also result in a marked reduction of productivity. Something that all employers should think about when it comes to terminations is that by doing so, it could create excessive unemployment claims by workers.
If any type of written or oral agreement exists, such as a union contract or verbal promise, then the Employment at Will doctrine might be severely restricted. There are approximately 38 states in America that consider verbal assurances of prolonged employment to effectively render Employment at Will policies baseless. In other words, if Anna’s supervisor tells her, “you have a job here for life”, then the statements made by that supervisor would preempt any Employment at Will defenses.
If you are an employer and you feel that someone needs to be terminated then call the Law Office of Andrew E. Farmer at (865) 428-6737. It would be worth an hour or two in legal fees to make sure that you are not going to be hit with a lawsuit that has any merit. On the flipside, if you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, then call the Law Office of Andrew E. Farmer for a free consultation at (865) 428-6737. We serve clients throughout East Tennessee and in many other states.