The Federalist Society

The Unanticipated Consequences of Employment at Will: Providing Damages in Restrictive Covenant Enforcement Cases

October 1, 2006

J. Gregory Grisham, Larry R. Wood

The employment at-will doctrine is a creature of the common law that has long protected the right of employers and employees to end the employment relationship “without breach of contract for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.” The employment at-will doctrine recognizes and protects the freedom of employers to make judgments about employees and business decisions without judicial interference. While the employment at-will rule issubject to statutory and judicial exceptions, the rule has retained its vitality. Despite the presumption of employment at-will, employers ordinarily include disclaimers of contractual intent and statements of at-will employment in employment applications, employee handbooks and other company publications such as policy manuals.

The Unanticipated Consequences of Employment at Will: Providing Damages in Restrictive Covenant Enforcement Cases  


The Federalist Society