Labor Relations
Essay Preview: Labor Relations
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Sharnae Wallace
Labor Relations
Winter 2011-2012
There are many topics of discussion to choose from concerning Labor Relations. Anything from unions to grievances, there is a lot to cover in the subject of labor relations. However, the most interesting topic to me is at-will-employment. This common law doctrine states that employment relationships developed for an unlimited time may be stopped by either the employer or employee at any time for any or no stated reason. That means that the employer has the right to fire an employee for no reason at all, just because if they wanted to. Also, an employee can quit for no reason at all.

The 8th edition of the Labor Relations Process book (that we are reading in class) states on page 83 that historically, employers have relied on the at-will-employment doctrine in order to fire employees for many different reasons without allowing the employee to challenge whether the decision was fair or unfair. The book also states that in many states the doctrine still exists to protect the employers right to discharge employees. However, the doctrine has been modified over the years to prohibit employers from discharging employees because of joining a union, race, sex, and/or religion.

Employment-at-will is similar to an arbitration agreement between employers and employees. An arbitration agreement asks employees to give up their right to sue their employer in court over job-related issues like wrongful termination . An employee who signs an arbitration agreement promises to deal with issues outside of court, without a lawsuit. As long as the employer does not do anything illegal, the employer can do whatever they want and not be sued in court. The only advantage of arbitration agreements is that issues are solved in a short period of time, unlike court cases that can last for years.

The opponent of employment-at-will is the right to work. The right to work compromise states that:
[Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the execution or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in any State or Territory in which such execution of application is prohibited by State or Territorial law .]

Under this law, a state may start legislation outlawing union membership as a condition of employment. Supporters of the right-to-work laws argue that the fundamental definition declares the right of every U.S. Citizen to work for a living, regardless of whether they belong to a union or not.

Examples of employment-at-will cases:
[1. Maria works at an office building in California. Maria is a smoker. At the office building where she works, employees

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Stated Reason And Common Law Doctrine. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from