Can an employee be terminated for refusal to sign policy?

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Can an employee be terminated for refusal to sign policy?

Employee was given a written form of job expectations after working for the

organization for 6 months. The expectations were not different than what the

employee was hired for and are not different than what the employee has done for

6 months. However, this would be the first time the employee has been asked to

sign the expectations. Can an employer tell the employee that they may not

return to work until the paper has been reviewed and signed? If employee decides

not to sign off on expectations, can the employer claim that the employee has

declined to fulfill their job?

Asked on February 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Actually, an employee can be fired for this reason, any reason or no reason at all (with or without notice). The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes whether or not to discipline a worker for not signing a policy document. The exceptions here would be if this action violates the terms of an employment contract/union agreement or if it constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. For your part, you can either comply and sign, refuse to do so but risk termination, or quit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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