In the United States, the at-will doctrine purports to give employers the right to terminate employees with or without notice or “good cause.” However, numerous exceptions have made protection afforded by the doctrine illusory, and wrongful termination litigation often results. Other countries such as Canada and New Zealand legally prohibit at-will employment, and require reasonable notice or justification when terminating employees. On the basis of comparison of nonunion employment in those countries with that typical in the United States, we examine alternative approaches to employment relationships (independent contractor, employee rights, and at-will), and offer suggestions for choosing among them strategically based on environmental contingencies, work characteristics, and outcomes valued by a given firm. Although the choice may be limited by law in some jurisdictions, we offer a more systematic approach for U.S. firms wishing to deal with the consequences of terminations proactively as part of their overall strategic planning process.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stanley_malos/4/