The “employment-at-will” doctrine was established in America by the late nineteenth century. Under this employment doctrine, employees can be terminated by their employers for any or no reason and without being owed any explanation beyond the employer’s subjective rationale. However, while the doctrine was once universal, many statutes are now restricted and qualified, including those prohibiting discrimination based on race, sex, or other factors. In some states, courts have imposed additional limits on employment at will by allowing “wrongful discharge” claims in certain circumstances.
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