Can an employer fire me without following their own stated procedures and policies?

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2012

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Can an employer fire me without following their own stated procedures and policies?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue or question is whether the stated procedues and policies are in an enforceable contract or not. If they are in an employment contract or union agreement, they should be followed as per the contract. If they are in an employee handbook or similar document, they *may* constitute an enforceable contract (an "implied contract"), IF there are no limitations, restrictions, or caveats as to enforceability. If the handlook, however, says anything like--

"Nothing in here constitutes a contract of employment"

"All employment is employment at will"

"Policies may be changed at will"

--then they are not binding.

If there is no enforceable contract, but the policies or procedures are simply ones which the employer voluntarily decided to use, they may change them at will and are not obligated to follow them.

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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