At Will Employment Reform
WHEREAS, Employment-at-Will statutes give employers the right to terminate (fire or lay off) employees at any time, for any reason and without warning without incurring legal liability (except for reasons that are illegal under state and/or federal law); and
WHEREAS, employment relationships are presumed to be "at-will" in all U. S. states except Montana. About 74% of U. S. workers are considered at-will employees; and
WHEREAS, most countries throughout the world allow employers to dismiss employees only for cause [National Conference of State Legislatures]; and
WHEREAS, in Employment-At-Will states, an employer can change the terms of the employment relationship without notice and with no consequences to the employer. Employees are left vulnerable to arbitrary and sudden dismissal, limited or on-call work schedules, and unannounced cuts in pay and benefits; and
WHEREAS, in At-Will Employment states, employers have ready means of retaliating against employees who voluntarily leave without notice, such as litigation and/or negative references, while employees who are fired or laid-off without just cause or prior notice have little or no recourse; and
WHEREAS, while all employees are vulnerable in At-Will Employment states, African-Americans are at a greatest risk because, historically, they are the "last hired, first fired," and the first to see hours and jobs cut.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People strongly condemns the discriminatory practices associated with At-Will employment.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP urge state legislatures and local governments to repeal discriminatory at-will employment statutes and enact legislation that protects all laid off and fired workers in the same or similar way that the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) does for certain classes of laid off workers.