In the United States, employees without a written contract for employment can be terminated at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. These individuals are employed “at will”. If an employer decides to fire you, you have very limited legal rights to fight your termination. The old views that employers and employees are on equal footing in terms of bargaining power – that each can enter and exit on a whim – are fortunately fading in much of the country. The courts and legislatures in several states have begun to recognize that employers have a distinct advantage over the worker – both structurally and economically. These states have adopted judicial exceptions to the rule in an effort to prevent wrongful terminations. Unfortunately, Alabama maintains one of the strictest set of at-will employment laws in the country. These laws severely limit the rights of the Alabama worker leaving them with very limited bargaining power and no guarantees of a reasonable condition for termination.
How does this law affect Austal workers?
Employees belonging to trade unions, however, enjoy collective bargaining agreements that typically require just cause for terminations, as well procedures for arbitrating employee grievances. Additionally, there are still numerous laws with which an Alabama business must comply in relation to employee rights. The following is a brief outline of commonly applied federal laws that supersede the Alabama state law:
For more information, contact the Mobile Metal Trades Council at 251-434-8254.