At-Will Employment States

In at-will employment states, an employer can fire an employee for any reason and at any time, as long as the reason is not illegal. Employees in the United States are entitled to various workplace rights, which entail that employees cannot be denied employment or be fired discriminately due to immutable characteristics such as, but not limited to, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. 

Every state in the U.S. has some form of at-will employment. At-will employment provides certain benefits for both employees and business owners. For example, it gives business owners the ability to reduce their cost of labor quickly, if necessary. On the other hand, it gives employees the ability to be flexible with regard to where they work, especially when it comes to leaving jobs they dislike in order to seek new employment opportunities.

In the event that an employer does terminate the employment of his or her employees in order to reduce labor costs, the employee can typically apply for and collect unemployment benefits so long as the termination of their employment was not caused by any fault of their own. 

Many states also have some form of a public policy exemption, which entails that an employee cannot be fired if firing that employee would violate public policy. For example, an employee could not be fired for refusing to do something that’s illegal in that state, for reporting a violation as a whistleblower, or for performing a civic duty such as attending jury duty.

Learn more about at-will employment by state by exploring the data in the charts.

At-Will Employment Status by State

Alabama

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Alaska

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Arizona

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Arkansas

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

California

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Colorado

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Connecticut

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Delaware

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Florida

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Georgia

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Hawaii

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Idaho

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Illinois

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Indiana

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Iowa

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Kansas

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Kentucky

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Louisiana

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Maine

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Maryland

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Massachusetts

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Michigan

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Minnesota

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Mississippi

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Missouri

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Montana

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

No

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Nebraska

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Nevada

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

New Hampshire

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

New Jersey

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

New Mexico

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

New York

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

North Carolina

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

North Dakota

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Ohio

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Oklahoma

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Oregon

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Pennsylvania

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Rhode Island

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

South Carolina

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

South Dakota

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Tennessee

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Texas

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Utah

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AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Vermont

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

Virginia

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Washington

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

No

West Virginia

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Wisconsin

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

Wyoming

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do_not_disturb_on

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT STATUShelp

Yes

RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWhelp

Yes

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help