People often confuse those two terms.
Right-to-work: People will say, “I know it’s a right-to-work state, but I just think my termination was wrongful.”
That’s not really using the term properly. The term “right-to-work,” in Florida, means, if you work in Florida, you have the right to work in Florida, without having to join a union. Most states are like that.
“Employment-at-will” is what that person meant to say. Employment-at-will is a doctrine, again in most states, that the employer can terminate your employment for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it’s not for one of the few unlawful reasons.
Similarly, and a lot of employees don’t realize this, is it works in their favor too, because they can leave and voluntarily separate, without having to give it one week notice or a two-week notice.
So it’s employment-at-will with respect to both the employer and employee.
The term “right-to-work,” in Florida, means, if you work in Florida, you have the right to work in Florida, without having to join a union.
Most people fall into that category unless they have a contract of employment. And a contract of employment is different than an offer letter or terms of engagement. It’s a contract signed by both parties, for employment for a specific duration of time. That’s how you get out of the employment-at-will doctrine.
So that’s the difference. If you have any other questions along those lines, you should give us a call and we can help you separate the two terms.
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