When you enter the workforce, it’s important for you to know what at-will employment means. Why? If you are ever hired for a job where at-will employment is an option, you need to protect yourself. At-will employment means that practically zero notice has to be given by your employer when they want to end your time with their company. A complete understanding of at-will employment can help protect you from unfortunate mistakes.
At-will employment does not permit employers to fire employees based on discrimination against the employee based on that employee’s “protected” status. This means that employees cannot be fired due to their age, religion, sex, race, ethnicity, pregnancy or anything else protected by federal and state laws known as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Even though New Jersey recognizes at-will employment, it does not mean that an employer can simply get rid of you from their payroll for any reason whatsoever. This means that you need to protect yourself as much as possible if you think you’re about to lose your job.
Your employer still needs to provide some sort of reason for why you were fired from your job. It can be as simple as the employer did not think you were going to work out with the company or that you were simply not understanding the requirements of the job.
At-will employment makes it easy for employers to relieve employees of their duties with little to no explanation. Just know that employers do have their limits — and you have legal recourse if they violate them. Keep this in the back of your mind if you believe that your employer terminated your employment illegally.