The Public Policy Exception to the Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Posted on April 19th, 2017 at 1:36 PM
The Public Policy Exception to the Employment-At-Will Doctrine

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

In a previous post, we discussed the three major exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine. This post will examine the public-policy exception of the doctrine.

The public-policy exception is the most widely used exception to the employment at-will doctrine. All but seven states have accepted this public-policy exception in its entirety. The public policy exception prevents employers from terminating its employees if they violate an individual state’s public-policy.  

Although every state focuses on different public policy issues, state courts generally point to the fact that changes in the labor market make it apparent that the employer and employee do not have equal bargaining power. This stems from weaker labor unions and stronger corporate influence in the lobbying of state and federal laws. Therefore, courts have asserted that the public-policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine is necessary to create more equal bargaining power for the employer and employee. In addition, courts have expressed that society has an interest in seeing that its public-policies are carried out.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisers nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of securities for financial investors including Securities FraudUnauthorized TradingBreach of Fiduciary DutyRetirement Planning Negligence, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: Eccleston, Eccleston Law, James Eccleston, Eccleston Law LLC

Return to Archive



I cannot thank you enough for your efforts. You have proven to be a valuable resource

Jim T.


September 29, 2023
Traders Engage in Boom-or-Bust Options in Stock Market

The stock options market is experiencing a surge in activity, as many individual investors are eagerly engaging in trades that expire within hours or days to take advantage of the volatile market swings.

September 28, 2023
Former LPL Affiliate Compliance Chief Suspended by FINRA for Unauthorized $1 Million Transfer

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined and suspended Jeffrey K. Kirkpatrick, a former chief compliance officer at a registered investment advisor previously affiliated with LPL.

September 27, 2023
Former Creative Planning Staff File Lawsuit Challenging Non-Compete Agreements

Four former employees of Creative Planning have filed a lawsuit, alleging that their non-compete agreements with the firm unlawfully restrict their ability to work in the industry.