John Gallagher, an attorney in Philadelphia that specializes in workplace issues has written an interesting article about employment at will and what it really means in the workplace. Mr. Gallagher’s article really starts by talking about what is not employment at will, such as unions and Federal/State employees, as well as athletes, coaches, and a lot of executives who have a contract that states they can only be fired for cause. It is interesting that the United States is the only country in which employment at will is followed, yet government workers are not at will workers. Employment at will came about when the courts decided that employment disputes would not be litigated in court. What changed some of that was collective bargaining for unions. As for today, again, if you don’t have a contract, you are an employee at will. That means you can be fired for whatever reason, or no reason. Gallagher’s article expounds on the things you can be fired for, and the effects of how some employees or employers treat you may not be protected by law. You can read Mr. Gallagher’s article here.
The reason that this is so important is that in today’s business world, we have different statuses for different ways we interpret tax laws, including the new Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA). These statuses, (part time, full time, exempt, etc) effect how companies look at hiring, employee retention, growth rates and outsourcing. It is very important for companies that are under 50 employees, but have the opportunity to grow through the next couple of years to over 50 employees, to look at outsourcing some of their functions to keep employee levels less than 50. Managepoint suggests that you look at outsourcing your Human Resources functions. By letting us handle payroll, benefits, training, and administration, you can lower your head count or reallocate those resources while getting a partner who can help your business grow, without growing your human resources headcount.