Delaware’s at-will employment standard is surmountable

| Mar 1, 2021 | Employment Law, Termination |

The at-will standard is a common Delaware employment law hurdle. Thankfully, with experience and practice, hurdles can be cleared — even legal ones. Increasingly, people slapped with wrongful terminations can and do fight back.

What is at-will employment?

When people from other countries learn about America’s at-will employment law standard, they’re often shocked. But it’s true: nearly all states have laws on the books that allow employers to fire employees for any reason whatsoever.

Most states, however, also have tempering statutes known as “public policy exceptions,” which forbid businesses from letting workers go for things that violate state and federal public policy doctrines. For example, firing someone because of their race, sex, ethnicity, age, or religion would likely trigger a wrongful termination lawsuit in most regions. States without a public policy exception include:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

Implied contract exceptions also exist in some jurisdictions. Nebulous and hyperspecific, implied contract exceptions can be difficult to prove, and they only apply in limited capacities. However, it’s challenging for claimants to prove because most employment contracts include an at-will clause.

Is Delaware a fully at-will employment state?

Delaware’s at-will employment law has a public policy exception, but not an implied contract one. However, collective bargaining agreements hold weight in Delaware courts and often become the crux of many wrongful termination lawsuits.

Connect with an employment law attorney about wrongful termination

Wrongful termination claims can be tricky because the burden of proof is high. However, employment law attorneys have the experience needed to get the job done. If you feel you’ve been unfairly fired, consult with a professional about your situation to understand your options. Don’t assume there’s no recourse. At-will standards aren’t an insurmountable barrier.