Many North Carolinians are familiar with the terms “at-will” and “right-to-work” regarding employment. However, while both terms are used in common discourse, they are often misused or used interchangeably. Simply put, the two phrases do not have the same meaning.
So, what exactly do these terms mean? “At-will” employment refers to an employer’s ability to terminate an employee at any time and for any reason. This includes the absence of a reason or an inaccurate reason, as long as certain laws are not violated, such as anti-discrimination laws.
“Right-to-work” means that the employee cannot be required to become a member of a union as a condition of their employment. In addition, the employee cannot be required to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of their employment. It is important to note that this is not meant to be a guarantee of employment.
In our following two posts, we will be explaining each of these terms in much greater detail.