What Does “At Will” Really Mean?

Michigan, like many other states, is an at will state for employment. In general, this means an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all.

We can help your practice stay on top of the latest healthcare news, rules, regulations and trends.  Subscribe to stay current and up to date on important matters that will impact your practice.  (To subscribe to our blog ).

It’s essential to remember that the at will relationship can be changed and termination can be limited to termination for cause. If there is an employment contract, an employee handbook, or a relevant policy, these can all potentially change the nature of the relationship.

Collective bargaining agreements can also change the at will nature of employment, if the employee is part of a union.

No matter the nature of the relationship, there are certain reasons that employers cannot terminate employees, even when employees are at will. Some of these reasons include termination based on:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Marital status

Employers can also not fire employees who act as whistleblowers or in retaliation for alerting to illegal activities.

Even if you think your employees are at will, it is essential to check with an attorney. Have your attorney review your policies and procedures, employee handbooks, and other documentation and practices that are in place.

Also, prior to terminating an employee, you want to protect yourself as much as possible for any potential discrimination claims.

Disgruntled employees may sue or file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It is important to know the relevant laws and regulations prior to terminating an employee.

A lawyer will help you put the correct documentation in place and ensure that laws are followed to protect you and the employee’s rights.

If you need help with your employee handbook, termination process or employee issues, contact Rickard & Associates today!

We publish vital information on health law topics and news every Wednesday and Friday. To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, 

Do you need help with updating your Business Associate Agreement or negotiating contracts with third-party vendors?  We can help. Contact us today about your Business Associate Agreement, your vendor contracts or your other legal needs!

Related Posts


Recent Posts

Do I Need an Emergency List?
March 23, 2023
Breaking: New Self-Disclosure Policy
March 21, 2023
What is a Power of Attorney?
March 16, 2023
Can Your EHR Template Land You in Prison?
March 14, 2023
What Happens When You Don’t Fund Your Trust?
March 9, 2023


Enter your email to subscribe now and receive your FREE HIPAA Risk Assessment book!

An essential tool for all healthcare providers, Easy Guide to HIPAA Risk Assessments breaks down the requirements of HIPAA so you can successfully complete your required risk assessment.


Get it now for FREE (an $8.99 value!)

One more step! Please check your email to confirm your subscription and receive your FREE book!