What states are at-will states?
April 7, 2006 8:51 PM   Subscribe

I know that some states are "at will employment" states, and other states are not. But which are which? Is Iowa an at will employment state or not?
posted by delmoi to Law & Government (4 answers total)
i was "let go" from my job with no explanation as to why - besides they question my integrity. This is regarding something that has happened 1 year ago and then again 3 years ago. I was reprimanded at the time and put on probationary period - which has long time passed. On 3/07 we were talked to again (my manager & I) and told we had 6 months before it being reviewed. On 3/10 my boss had enough on their insults and going by heresay that she quit. On 3/13 I was then let go. They didnt like either of us no matter what we did, I have a fact finding interview coming up and do not want to call the company for any paper work (write ups). Does this sound fair? How can I get the paper work?
As we have covered several times before on this site, Iowa is an "employment at will" state, meaning that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. The burden of proof will be on the Employer to prove misconduct at the factfinding. If you want copies of whatever is in your personnel file, the only way you will probably get it is to ask for it. Depending on when your factfinding is scheduled, you could send a written request for that material. You didn't say when that is, so we don't know if you would have sufficient time to request and receive it.
Iowa Workforce Development
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:58 PM on April 7, 2006

Most states (including Iowa) follow some form of the "at will" doctrine. But there are variations among the at will states, and there are exceptions to the rule. For example, most states prohibit termination for certain reasons, such as discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, etc., and the reasons can vary among jurisdictions. Also, if you have an employment contract the at will doctrine generally does not apply. So analyzing an employment situation can be more complicated than just considering the question of whether the state is an at will jurisdiction.

Here is a quick and dirty summary of some key points of Iowa employment law. This is not legal advice, etc. etc.
posted by brain_drain at 9:29 PM on April 7, 2006

My general understanding has been that states that have strong union histories (i.e. rust belt states) are less likely to have "at will" policies. That is, it's harder to get fired if you're in a union.


I'd love to hear more about it though.
posted by intermod at 9:25 AM on April 8, 2006

If there's a contract involved all bets are off, though. It's still harder to get fired if you're in a union in an at-will state because you presumably work under the union contract.
posted by jaysus chris at 3:38 PM on April 8, 2006

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