Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP
866-716-3813 Blog Contact

At-will doctrine vs. employee contracts in New York

In order for New York employers to remain in full compliance with the law, they must understand just what is covered under the state's at-will employment doctrine. While in many cases these laws protect businesses from incurring a wrongful termination claim, there are a few instances when other circumstances can override existing state regulations.

As described by the New York Department of Labor, at-will laws apply to numerous workers in the state. This means that many employees can be terminated at the discretion of the employer without need for prior notice. Employees can also resign from their work duties as they see fit without fear of reprisal. However, there are a few exceptions to these rules which employers must follow to remain within their legal rights.

For instance, an employer that fires a worker for any reason deemed discriminatory can face serious ramification. In New York, discrimination entails firing an employee due to sexual orientation, gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status or disability. It is also unlawful for employers to terminate an employee due to out-of-work activities (such as political interests), status as a union member or in retaliation for making a complaint about a poor working condition or situation.

Even in states with at-will doctrines in place, an employee contract will override these provisions. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists modification by contract as one of the many exceptions to prevailing at-will laws. Accordingly, the terms existing within a contract agreed upon by employer and employee must be adhered to in order to prevent wrongful termination from occurring. Many employee contracts include provisions related to the quality and volume of employee work; however, the actual stipulations can vary based on employer needs and requirements. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Consult Our Skilled, Pragmatic Manhattan Commercial Litigation Attorneys

Tap To Request An Exploratory Consultation ยป

Entrepreneurial, Corporate and Individual Legal Services For Domestic And International Clients

To Request A Consultation By Phone, Call: 917-512-4332 (NY/NJ) | 917-512-4332 (CO) | 866-716-3813 (Toll Free)

New York Office
630 Third Avenue 19th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Toll Free: 866-716-3813
Phone: 917-512-4332
New York Office Map

Great Neck Office
98 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 310N
Great Neck, NY 11021

Toll Free: 866-716-3813
Phone: 917-512-4332
Great Neck Office Map

Hackensack Office
27 Warren Street, Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Toll Free: 866-716-3813
Phone: 917-512-4332
Hackensack Office Map

Denver Office
1060 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80218

Toll Free: 866-716-3813
Phone: 917-512-4332
Denver Office Map