What is ‘at will’ employment?

‘At will’ employment means that an employer is free to terminate an employment relationship at any time, for any reason (so long as doing so is not a violation of a protected class). The majority of employees in the US are ‘at will’.

International businesses looking to expand into the US should be aware of something called ‘at will’ employment. This is a doctrine that makes it possible for an employer to terminate an employment relationship at any time, for any reason, so long as doing so is not a violation of a protected class. This means that you can decide to let a US employee go with no notice if you decide that it’s the right thing to do for your business. Equally, employees can also end the employment relationship at any time.

However, just remember that there are some circumstances under which businesses cannot terminate an employee’s contract: you cannot terminate an employee’s contract if doing so constitutes a violation of a protected class; for example, due to pregnancy, age, race, religion, etc.

If you choose to use Foothold America’s services to hire US employees, the employees will be ‘at will’ and will not sign an employment contract.

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