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"At will employment" have you heard of this?

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what is the proper notice at a facility with "at will" employment? what does "at will" really mean?

nancykday

Specializes in DIALYSIS, ICU/CCU, ONCOLOGY, CORRECTIONS.

[uote=kaeky;2366661]what is the proper notice at a facility with "at will" employment? what does "at will" really mean?

It means that the facility can terminate your employment at any time. They employ you "at their will". But you can also terminate your empoyment " at your will", there is no contract that defines your lenght of employment.

what is the proper amount of time to allow if you are resigning? does 'at will' have bearing on the weeks notice?

Louisiana is a "at will" state. I am not sure that there is a written rule about the proper amount notice before leaving a job. Most places I have worked require a 2 week notice to be eligible for rehire.

what is the proper amount of time to allow if you are resigning? does 'at will' have bearing on the weeks notice?

No. Good form determines notice.

The proper amount of time depends on a lot of things. How long you've been there, how replaceable you are, etc.

woody62, RN

Specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps. Has 27 years experience.

what is the proper notice at a facility with "at will" employment? what does "at will" really mean?

At will means you can be terminated at will of your employer, totally without any notice. However, if you want a recommendation, suggest two weeks.

Woody:balloons:

Well, I currently work in management in a construction trade in an "at will" state (Alabama) and the term "at will" really means that an employer can fire/release you for any reason. If they don't like your new tattoo or your hair they can fire you. But it really is a joke because the employer would have to prove that it wasn't discrimination, etc...(because of all of the other employment laws). And we all know that would be a hard thing to do. There are so many things an employee could point to as the reason an employer illegaly fired them, and even in an "at will" state, most judges will not push the issue with all of the other laws involved. Does this make sense? (I think I just confused myself...lol.)

crysobrn

Specializes in OB L&D Mother/Baby. Has 7 years experience.

I work at a "hire at will, fire at will" employer. It means there is no contract, they can hire who they want and terminate without a reason (or they can provide a reason).

I too would be apt to go with two weeks for a resignation. Unless you work in a specialty unit and there are not many options for replacement (like my unit) and then maybe three - four weeks. HTH.

Technically, "at will" means, they don't have to give you a notice, and you don't have to give them a notice.

However...I would wager that nursing would be different because of the patient abandonment issue. It's also a Catch 22 with your employer because if you don't give them a notice, they can make you ineligible for rehire.

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Check with your entity's employee policy manual. Normally this is outlined (notice given for resignation).

Management can be 30 days. Staff positions, 2 weeks.

BillEDRN

Specializes in ED, critical care, flight nursing, legal.

Well, I currently work in management in a construction trade in an "at will" state (Alabama) and the term "at will" really means that an employer can fire/release you for any reason. If they don't like your new tattoo or your hair they can fire you. But it really is a joke because the employer would have to prove that it wasn't discrimination, etc...(because of all of the other employment laws). And we all know that would be a hard thing to do. There are so many things an employee could point to as the reason an employer illegaly fired them, and even in an "at will" state, most judges will not push the issue with all of the other laws involved. Does this make sense? (I think I just confused myself...lol.)

Actually, you are partially correct. As you correctly state, "at will" means an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without cause. The one caveat to that is that the employer may not terminate you based on any number of protected classes (sex, religious affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation for example, there are others). However, if you believe you were fired illegally, it is not as easy to "prove" your case in court. First, you would have to make a claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who would make a determination about the merits of your case. If so determined, you could proceed to court, where after your claims of discrimination were made, the employer would have an opportunity to state why the fired you wasn't because of some protected status. And since you mentioned it, the possibility does exist that the employer could fire you for that tattoo. After the employer gets done explaining that he fired you because you were always late, had poor performance, or that you treated the customers badly, you would get an opportunity to refute those claims on the basis of any evidence you had. So, it really is not that hard for an employer to fire you, and no, they really don't have to worry about the headaches of a lawsuit, for the most part, as it is frequently difficult to have enough evidence to refute an employer's seemingly reasonable justification for firing you. A link to the EEOC is below if you need any additional information.

http://www.eeoc.gov/

Technically, "at will" means, they don't have to give you a notice, and you don't have to give them a notice.

However...I would wager that nursing would be different because of the patient abandonment issue. It's also a Catch 22 with your employer because if you don't give them a notice, they can make you ineligible for rehire.

Abandonment would only be applicable if you walked off the job after starting your shift. Not showing up for work is not abandonment, and therefore not providing notice of your intent to quit wouldn't be abandonment either. Poor form, yes, but, not abandonment.

Check with your entity's employee policy manual. Normally this is outlined (notice given for resignation).

Management can be 30 days. Staff positions, 2 weeks.

Unless you have agreed to some additional terms of employment, an employee policy manual's "suggestions" for notice would not be binding on the employee wanting to quit. Again, it might be poor form, but not illegal.

I have been taking a healthcare policy class and your post caught my eye as I recently did some reading on "at will" vs. contract/union.

Here's some history on the term "at will":

The site timslaw.com describes "at will" as a legal term that goes back to about the 1800s and refers to a relationship between an employer and the employer's free workers (who were not indentured servants, nor slaves) who were free to quit (on the other hand, their employer was also free to fire them at any time). Timslaw.com notes that in the 1800s, people began to sue their employers and the courts began to write opinions using the "at-will" phrase...

...

Timslaw.com also notes that today, employment at-will usually refers to those who "lack an employment contract (or union contract) that limits the employer's right to fire you, or if you are not a government employee with mandated job protections." Further, the site above notes, "If the employer terminates an "at-will" employee wrongfully, the employee may be able to collect damages."

SOURCE: http://www.timslaw.com/atwill.htm

woody62, RN

Specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps. Has 27 years experience.

I have been taking a healthcare policy class and your post caught my eye as I recently did some reading on "at will" vs. contract/union.

Here's some history on the term "at will":

The site timslaw.com describes "at will" as a legal term that goes back to about the 1800s and refers to a relationship between an employer and the employer's free workers (who were not indentured servants, nor slaves) who were free to quit (on the other hand, their employer was also free to fire them at any time). Timslaw.com notes that in the 1800s, people began to sue their employers and the courts began to write opinions using the "at-will" phrase...

...

Timslaw.com also notes that today, employment at-will usually refers to those who "lack an employment contract (or union contract) that limits the employer's right to fire you, or if you are not a government employee with mandated job protections." Further, the site above notes, "If the employer terminates an "at-will" employee wrongfully, the employee may be able to collect damages."

SOURCE: http://www.timslaw.com/atwill.htm

You are correct but as previously stated. it is difficult to prove that you were fired because of a protected class. I worked in a state with a union contract and I also worked in a state protected by 'right to work', both in management positions. In the state where the employee was protected by contract, there were very specific steps I had to take before terminating an employee. And even then, it did not protect us from lawsuits and union grivances, for wrongful termination. In the right to work state, I terminated an employee at his third counseling session. He had been given verbal warnings twice and written one, as well as a specific date to change his behavior. He did not and was fired. He never brought a lawsuit aginst me or our employer. But if he had, I feel we would have won, given the steps I had taken and the timetable I had given him.

Woody:balloons:

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Originally Posted by sirI viewpost.gif

Check with your entity's employee policy manual. Normally this is outlined (notice given for resignation).

Management can be 30 days. Staff positions, 2 weeks.

Unless you have agreed to some additional terms of employment, an employee policy manual's "suggestions" for notice would not be binding on the employee wanting to quit. Again, it might be poor form, but not illegal.

Correct. Very, very unprofessionally poor form.

santhony44, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

"At will" or not, it pays to be more gracious than necessary when ending a job. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, like serious illness or death, give at least the minimum notice and do so in such a way that you aren't burning any bridges.

Even if you think there's no way in h*** you'd go back to a particular facility, you never know who you might encounter at another facility sometime in the future. The person you tick off today could be the one in charge of hiring for your dream job 10 years from now.

In Texas.....which is an "at will" state. When someone calls to check your reference they can confirm dates of employment and state weather you are "eligiable for rehire" or "not eligable for rehire"

Just because you gave your 2 weeks notice.....They can say that you are "not eligible for rehire" for any reason. When someone says "not eligible" it makes it sound like you were fired.....

In Texas there are no laws that protect a good nurse who just decided to move on.....

happybunny1970

Specializes in Acute Hemodialysis, Cardiac, ICU, OR. Has 6 years experience.

In Texas.....which is an "at will" state. When someone calls to check your reference they can confirm dates of employment and state weather you are "eligiable for rehire" or "not eligable for rehire"

Just because you gave your 2 weeks notice.....They can say that you are "not eligible for rehire" for any reason. When someone says "not eligible" it makes it sound like you were fired.....

In Texas there are no laws that protect a good nurse who just decided to move on.....

This is absolutely true... and not only that, I had an experience where a prospective employer was attempting to verify employment and the former employer refused to either confirm or deny that I had ever worked for them -- I ended up submitting copies of 1099 forms to prove the employment. I spoke with the Attorney General's office and the Texas Workforce Commission and this is what I was told: Because Texas is an 'at will' state, a former employer can say or NOT say anything they want (including gory details) AS LONG AS IT IS NOT AN OUTRIGHT LIE THAT CAN BE DISPROVEN (in which case, you can sue). And you're right... it makes it seem like there was some horrid reason why you are no longer employed with a company, even if it was nothing more than a personality conflict, or heaven forbid just a better opportunity. And there is one hospital in this area that marks EVERYONE who leaves for ANY reason as 'ineligible for rehire.' (we have a few local nursing school where they recruit heavily every single season, so they don't seem to care who they hurt).

Ultimately, you are only responsible for yourself and your own actions, and it always pays to act in a professional manner and do your best to give adequate notice. Granted, there are situations where you may give that two to four weeks notice, only to be asked to leave immediately, but at least you can say you did the right thing.

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