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Employers should understand wrongful termination laws

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2021 | Employment Law |

Wrongful termination laws in Alaska protect both employers and employees. Both parties should understand the rules and regulations that govern the firing of workers in the majority of circumstances.

As an at-will employment state, Alaska has established guidelines to inform companies when a termination meets existing legal standards.

The meaning of at-will employment

Mighty Recruiter states that Alaska belongs to a long list of states that fall into the category of at-will employment. The broad meaning of the term says that companies can fire employees at any time and for any reason. In some cases, a company does not even need to state a reason.

While this might seem that employers do not have to act in responsible ways to their employees, many exceptions exist when it comes to terminations. Employees also can leave employment on their terms; however, certain exceptions may prevent an employee from just walking off the job.

The importance of the contract

The employer-employee relationship changes significantly when a contract is in place. Oral, written and implied contracts have legal force in Alaska. If an employer fails to follow the provisions of an employment contract, the employee could have grounds to sue for breach of contract. Breach of contract laws also applies to collective bargaining agreements.

Other exceptions to the power of employers to fire workers occur during situations that include retaliatory motives and discriminatory reasons. A complex legal framework covers discrimination laws that employers must adhere to or face potential consequences. A similar code of protection exists for firings based on anger at an employee for failing to engage in illegal actions.