Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1342667
 
 

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Dismissal Law in the United States: The Past and Present of At-Will Employment


Katherine V.W. Stone


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

February, 13 2009

International Collaborative on Social Europe, Forthcoming
UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 09-03

Abstract:     
This article, written for the International Collaborative Project on Social Europe, discusses the contract of employment in the United States, focusing on developments in the employment at will doctrine and the state of dismissal protection. This article begins by noting that in the employment area, there is a particularly wide disjunction between the law as it is written and articulated by judges, and the actual practice of labor relations. The author argues that in the area of dismissal, both the law on the books and the law in action are in flux at the present time. Moreover, she demonstrates that although each is changing, they are both changing in opposite directions. Some recent judicial developments involve the imposition of terms and on-going obligations on the heretofore at-will relationship, thereby transforming the at-will employment contract into a contract with some fixed rights and obligations. However, at the same time, there have been changes in human resource practices by which firms have repudiated long-term attachment, embraced a free agency model of employment, and sought to change employee expectations of job security. The article concludes with some observations about how courts might bridge these two opposing trends.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: employment law, employment at will doctrine, contract employment

JEL Classification: J23, J41

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Date posted: February 14, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Stone, Katherine V.W., Dismissal Law in the United States: The Past and Present of At-Will Employment (February, 13 2009). International Collaborative on Social Europe, Forthcoming; UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 09-03. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1342667

Contact Information

Katherine Van Wezel Stone (Contact Author)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
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