Last week the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Ayala v. CyberPower Sys. (USA), Inc. that an employee’s compensation agreement did not modify his status as an at-will employee. No. 17-1852, 2018 WL 2703102, at *1 (8th Cir. June 6, 2018). In Ayala, the plaintiff entered into an agreement with defendant CyberPower that

At-will employment is a bedrock concept – an employee can be discharged without proof of cause.  The principle exists at all employment levels, from rookie to veteran, from entry-level clerical to senior executive.  The common exception is when at-will employment is altered by a contract with just cause employment provisions, such as a collective bargaining

Yes – the Minnesota Supreme Court recently held that an employer does not violate public policy by terminating an employee for applying for unemployment benefits, but employers should still be cautious about doing so.
In Dukowitz v. Hannon Security Services, A11-1481 (Minn., Jan. 2, 2014), the plaintiff applied for unemployment benefits after her work

When employers make written offers of employment or provide written employment policies to employees, such as Employee Handbooks, it is generally advisable for the employer to include a disclaimer stating that the employment is at-will.  The purpose of an at-will disclaimer is to prevent an employee from mistakenly believing that he or she

To preserve “at-will” employment status, employers will carefully avoid entering formal contracts and insert “at-will” disclaimer provisions in their Handbooks and Policies.  But these efforts can be countered, thwarted, or complicated by poorly drafted offer letters that promise continued employment to a “hot” candidate.  Often the problem comes from a manager recruiting and trying

While most states are at-will employment states, employers commonly enter a range of individual employment contracts that can either alter or preserve the at-will relationship.  Typical reasons for such contracts in an “at-will” legal environment include recruiting the best candidate, protecting employer rights, or securing releases in exchange for severance.
Employment lawyers commonly see the

In some circumstances, a minority shareholder in a closely-held corporation may have a reasonable expectation of continued employment.  As a result, if termination of employment is “unfairly prejudicial” to the shareholder in his or her capacity as a shareholder-employee, the termination may be grounds for a court to provide equitable relief for shareholder oppression under

If a group of employees votes to be represented by a union, it usually has a significant effect on the workplace and the employer-employee relationship.  For example:

  • The employment relationship ceases to be “at will,” and employees may only be terminated for “just cause.”
  • The employer is prohibited by law from dealing directly with union

Under Minnesota law, employment is presumptively “at will.”  This means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time and for any reason, except on the basis of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (e.g., race, sex, age, disability, whistleblowing, etc.).
The traditional rule of at-will employment may be altered and a contract for