At will employment means an employee can be terminated for any reason or no reason, except a list of “unlawful” reasons.
Unlawful Reasons to Terminate an “At-Will” Employee
In Arizona, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s
· Sexual orientation
· Sexual identity
· National origin
· Age (if over 40 years old)
It is also unlawful to terminate an employee because they complained to HR or management about unlawful discrimination.
In addition, it is unlawful to terminate an employee because they requested leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, or Arizona’s paid sick time law.
And finally, it is unlawful to terminate an employee because they reported to management that they believe someone in the company was engaged in unlawful conduct.
Some of these laws only apply to larger companies. For example, laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender, race, and disability only apply to employers with 15 or more employees. The Family Medical Leave Act only applies to employers with 50 or more employees within the 75-mile radius where the employe works. Arizona’s whistleblower law and the Arizona paid sick time law applies to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.