Will Kansas Be the Next State to Adopt At-Will Employment?
Employers who work in employment at-will states are already familiar with the term, meaning that unless an employment contract states otherwise, employers can fire employees for any reason. They can even fire employees for no reason at all, or an unfair reason as long as it’s not discriminatory or otherwise illegal. This doesn’t mean that disgruntled former employees can’t sue, which is why obtaining the right Employment Practices Liability Insurance is essential. It does, however, mean that in most states, no employee truly has 100% job security.
While most of the U.S. practices at-will employment, there are still a handful of states that do not; at least for now. A legislative update was released earlier this month in Kansas that will change the status of classified jobs to unclassified. Classified employees are protected in terms of pay, hiring practices, and firing practices. Unclassified employees, on the other hand, are held to the same standard of at-will employees.
There are supporters of the bill, House Bill 2391, that aim to change employment statuses in the state. These supporters claim that the changes the bill introduces makes state employment practices more aligned with private business and allows state agencies to hire qualified employees. Proponents of the bill, however, feed that instead of being hired based on merit, employees will not be hired based on political affiliation or beliefs, and fired for any reason with no chance of appeal.
One thing is for sure; if the bill does go through the state could certainly expect to see a rise in employment practices liability claims that are sure to occur.
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