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At Will Employees Have Rights

Get A Lawyer’s Counsel On “At-Will” Employee Rights

New Hampshire employees who do not have contracts for a period of time and who are not in a union are “at-will” employees. That means the employee can be fired at any time for any reason, but there are two exceptions to this rule.

First, an at-will employee cannot be fired for a discriminatory reason. In other words, an employer cannot fire someone because of their age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed, national origin or sexual orientation. This law is codified by the Legislature in New Hampshire R.S.A. 354-A:7.

Second, an at-will employee cannot be fired for a “wrongful” reason. A wrongful termination occurs when an employee does something that the public encourages employees to do (report a theft to their boss), or when the employee does not do something that the public would discourage (refuse a boss’s instruction to steal documents from a competitor). A wrongful termination also requires the employer to demonstrate some level of “bad faith, malice or retaliation” toward the employee. This law has been developed by New Hampshire judges since 1974 to protect at-will employees and improve our economic system.

These laws are not limited just to the termination of one’s employment. At-will employees cannot be “forced out” of their jobs, demoted or afforded different pay or benefits for discriminatory or wrongful reasons.

There are many things an employer can do to avoid lawsuits by former employees. There are also remedies for employees who have been unlawfully fired. If you need legal advice in an employment scenario such as this or in any other employment matter, you should consult with an attorney.

Philip L. Pettis is a partner with the law firm of Boynton, Waldron, Doleac, Woodman & Scott, P.A. in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Phil has been practicing law for 15 years, and he has successfully represented employers and employees in many types of employment disputes. He also handles a variety of other cases.

 With his legal expertise and experience, he can provide valuable guidance to employers and employees alike.

As an employer, it is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding employment practices. Discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion or disability is illegal under federal and state laws. It is essential for employers to have clear policies in place to ensure fair treatment of all employees and to avoid any discriminatory actions.

If you find yourself facing an employment law challenge, whether as an employer or an employee, our firm is equipped to provide the guidance and representation you need.

With a deep understanding of both sides of employment disputes, we are uniquely positioned to help you achieve a fair and lawful resolution. Contact us to benefit from our expertise and commitment to excellence in employment law.

We represent clients in New Hampshire, Maine, and northern Massachusetts. Regardless of the legal problem, you can benefit from the experience that comes from a century of service to our community.

Contact us today and let us help you find a solution to your legal matter.