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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

At-Will Employment

All states except Montana and the District of Columbia recognize at-will employment, with this employment relationship commonly occurring among computer professionals.

The at-will doctrinewas first formulated by Horace Gay Woodin 1877 when he compiled a paper on relations between masters and servants. Wood’s doctrine led to further citations of authority that the employee was required to prove an explicit contract for a definite period of time related to termination of employment

Employees must be treated fairly and without discrimination in all aspects of employment; including termination. New York State, like all other states, provides these protections in many areas including for instance:

  • Whistleblowers.

  • Participation on the employee’s own time in lawful political or recreational activities.

  • Race, religion, gender, place of national origin, age, marital status, or disability.

  • Filing for workers’ compensation or disability benefits.

  • Serving on a jury.

A brief example of New York State law that addresses the implications of drug addiction and alcoholism on employment termination now follows:

  • An employee who is currently using illegal drugs is not protected by the New York State Human Rights law. However, there are protections for an employee who is a recovered or recovering alcoholic or drug addict.

  • Flexible work-hours must be allowed for ongoing treatment if the employee is still able to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • The employee is not entitled to accommodation and may be terminated if the employer is aware of current illegal use of drugs.

The employer’s attorneys should be fully knowledgeable of all applicable State and Federal employment laws to effectively and legally facilitate the employee discharge process.

The above book excerpt is from:

You're Fired! Firing Computer Professionals

The IT manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"

ISBN 0-9744486-4-8

Robert Papaj

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