Employee at will

  1. How many really know what it is to be an employee at will? I stumbled across a good web site that explains it. I think anyone out in the work force needs to have a good understanding what their rights are.
    http://jobsearchtech.about.com/libra...y/aa092402.htm
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   crankyasanoldma
    At will employment is the only way I've ever worked. Wouldn't have it any other way.
  4. by   efy2178
    Really? You realize you can be fired anytime for any reason (with the exception of age, sex, religious, ethnic discrimination). You wouldn't have it any other way?
    Personally, I would rather have a contract. Firing without cause just seems unethical, if not illegal.
    With the cost of health care going up and up, hospitals are looking for cheaper ways to provide care. More expensive, better experienced nurses are being forced out of jobs for the newly recruited nurses. This is difficult to prove but I have seen it happen a couple of times recently.
    Last edit by efy2178 on Feb 18, '04
  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I have only lived and worked in "at will" states. I know nurses who are in unions. They make from almost twice as much, to more than twice as much per hr as I do, actually have benefits and are much more satisfied in their jobs.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Actually in my unit we have 2 fulltime employees.And 6 contracted employees now. The fulltimers say they would be doing contracts if they didn't need the pension/benefits and are so invested financially in the company benefits they don't dare leave. In my state, I feel the contracted nurses DO have more rights than me. And probably more protection from their agency than I do with my hospital employer. Sad, eh?

    I am getting tired of being the company stooge...er...charge nurse. Seems simpler and less complicated just taking my 2 patients, vs being in charge AND taking 2 patients. Employees seem to be held to a higher standard today it seems. No wonder so many nurses work contracts today....it may be back to the agency for me very very soon.
  7. by   -jt
    <At will employment is the only way I've ever worked. Wouldn't have it any other way.>

    Why? What is the benefit of being at the mercy of your employer as an at-will common laborer? I dont understand why nurses would accept this. Some have said the "benefit" is that you can quit whenever you want as an at-will employee, but you can do that even if you have a contract, so what do you gain from being an at-will employee?

    The CEO, the VPs, the DONs, the supervisors, the Doctors, just about every professional in the place has a contract with the employer. They wouldnt even consider taking the job without one. And they had a say in determining their contracts (like deciding what their salary, benefits, perks, and terms of employment should be). Why should staff nurses not expect and demand to be given the same professional respect?

    Nurses themselves are the ones keeping this profession oppressed.
    Last edit by -jt on Feb 19, '04
  8. by   fiestynurse
    There are still many rights that an employee has in an "at-will" state. You can't be fired if you are out on a work comp injury and you can't be fired in violation of FMLA or ADA. Many nurses are also protected by whistle-blower laws. If you are always complaining to your Supervisor about what you feel is sub-standard care and she fires you because she sees you as a "trouble-maker" - you may have a case against her. You also can't be fired because of age (over 40), race, sex, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. A group of flight attendants just won a discrimination case because they were terminated based on weight. You also have rights in regards to harrassment issues - your boss can't fire you because you won't have sex with him.

    Employers still need to be careful, even in "at-will" states. Employment lawyers are still very busy in all these states!
  9. by   Gldngrl
    Just because employees in right to work states working "at will" have statutory federal protections does not mean that it is an easy road by any means. Anyone reviewing the latest employment/labour law case decisions can see that certain circuits are more conservative than others...look at the 4th Circuit. Theory doesn't always equal success in the courtroom unfortunately, and many people do not want to go the legal route or have the financial resources to do so. Having a contract gives the employee leverage and protection as a written document...which is why many employers in right to work states do not contract with nurses, nor provide employee handbooks. Instead, there are policies to follow: "subject to change" by management at any time.
    Good post jt!
  10. by   efy2178
    There are no whistle blower protection laws in my state. Without one, patients are in jeopardy from out of touch administrators who may create unsafe policies. Nurses may feel intimidated to speak out against them. This happens all the time.
    I believe the employer should not be given free reign to hire and fire at will. Experienced nurses wind up without a job which is lost to new inexperienced employees. New grads are without mentors. Unsafe practices become the norm because of ignorance or fear.
  11. by   purplemania
    Contracts are a two-way deal, not just to protect the employee from being fired without cause. I don't want to be obligated to stay where I do not want to work. I want to be able to leave when I feel like it. To me, contracts are for people who want others to speak for them and want protection because they are not productive.
  12. by   Gldngrl
    Contracts are as a result of negotiations...in a working context, they involve an employer and employee. The parties agree to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement and sign a contract, by which both are bound. Saying that contracts are for those wanting 3rd party representation is incorrect...does this mean that there should not be contracts for anything, for buying a home, for contracting services, etc? Contracts are not synonymous with unionization; they exist in a variety of situations outside collective bargaining.
  13. by   OC_An Khe
    Also employment contracts can be done by anyone, not just by unions. That said, I have worked in both at will and union environments and will always choose a unionized employer if given a choice.
  14. by   renerian
    That is the only way I have ever worked in Ohio.

    renerian

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