Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1985

Abstract

The most significant development in the whole field of labor law during the past decade was the growing willingness of the courts to modify the traditional doctrine of employment-at-will. Applying either tort or contract theory, or both, judges in some thirty jurisdictions declared their readiness to blunt the worst rigors of the rule that an employment contract of indefinite duration can be terminated by either party at any time for any reason. These dramatic breakthroughs evoked almost universal acclaim from disinterested commentators, primarily on the grounds of simple justice. Now we may be entering a new phase of consolidation, refinement, and even retrenchment. I should like to take stock briefly of where we stand, highlight some of the more important legal and practical strategies of the moment, and speculate a bit about the longer-range future.


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