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Speechless by Bruce Barry

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42

THREEUnemployment at Will

LET’S START WITH A QUIZ. Which state has the most progressive, employee-oriented laws protecting workers from being fired for no good reason? Hint: it’s not a state in the Northeast or on the West Coast. I’ll reveal the answer later.

In this chapter I discuss the second foundation in law that defines the reach of free speech and other rights on the job: the fundamental principle in U.S. labor law known as the rule of employment at will. Employment at will is the default approach to employment arrangements between worker and employer. By “default” I mean that it sets the rules of employment— and specifically the rules about ending employment—in the absence of some sort of contract. And the rules are, well, that there ...

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