What does it mean that Alabama is an employment-at-will state?
The State of Alabama does not have any laws pertaining to the hiring and firing of an employee (with a few limited exceptions). An employer can hire anybody it wants and fire anybody it wants as long as it does not discriminate against the employee. Discrimination is based on the age, sex, race, religion, national origin, color or disability of the individual.
Despite this lack of statutory laws controlling employment practices in the State of Alabama, there are still Federal laws that protect employees in a number of situations, such as:
1. Race, Gender, Age, and Disability Discrimination
2. Sexual Harassment
3. Retaliation by the employer for participating in protected activity (i.e reporting or complaining about discrimination, health and safety violations, the employer defrauding the federal government, making claims for workplace injuries)
4. Wage and Hour Laws that protect an employee’s rights to the minimum wage, overtime pay, and working conditions
5. Required time off from work or leave to address family and medical issues
These laws require Alabama employers to follow certain procedures and guidelines depending on the size of the company, the respective industry, and the nature and classification of the employee’s job duties.
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