Employers can best preserve at-will employment status by placing disclaimers throughout their employee handbooks. Be sure to display the disclaimer prominently at or near the front of the handbook and in appropriate sections, such as those discussing employee discipline or retirement benefits.
Include these key points:
- All employees are hired on at-will basis.
- Each person’s employment is for no specific term.
- Either the employee or the employer has the right to terminate the relationship at any time.
- Nothing in the handbook should be construed as a contract or a guarantee of future employment.
- The current handbook supersedes all previous versions.
Advice: Cement employees' recognition that they are employed on an at-will basis by having them sign and date an acknowledgment form stating that they have read and understand your explanation of their status. Make a copy for your HR files; have employees retain the original, which should remain in the handbook.