This is the definition of employment-at-will and is the established common law doctrine on this matter. The employment-at-will principle has to be modified for employees in the public sector as they are afforded additional protection through the Constitution . Public sector workers have additional rights under the 5th amendment and state, county and local government workers are protected by the 14th amendment. These amendments limit the ways and reasons in which a public sector employee can be dismissed and disciplined. Some states recognize three exceptions to the employment-at-will principle and these are the implied contract , implied covenant and violation of public policy. Employers cannot fire employees when it is viewed to be in the best interests of society as a whole. For example, an employer cannot fire an employee for refusing to carry out a criminal activity or for reporting breaches of health and safety rules to the OSHA. The implied contract exception to the employment-at-will rule refers to dismissal in spite of promises made regarding job security or contrary to set procedures, whereas the implied covenant exception describes the situation when an employer has acted unfairly. In this situation, the employer has acted in bad faith resulting in the termination of the employee's position. This violates the implied covenant by causing harm unjustifiably. Hence, employees can seek damages for wrongful dismissal. In order to avoid wrongful dismissal suits, HR experts suggest that employers give clear reasons when firing an employee, create and follow termination rules, document performance shortcomings and act in a consistent manner with all employees in similar circumstances. Consistency will bear out that the employer is not treating an employee in a particularly unfavorable way and hence the employer should be able to fend off the charge. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee resigns because of unpleasant or unreasonable working conditions placed on him or her by the employer. This is the definition of constructive dismissal and arises when conditions are so bad that the employee is "forced" to resign. The courts have held that employees in "sensitive" positions can be subjected to mandatory drug-testing. The sensitive positions refer to jobs such as flight crew members, police officers, firefighters and transportation safety crew. The testing is mandatory as the employer's interest in keeping a drug-free workplace overrides the privacy interest of the employees. As the laws relating to the drug -testing of employees in non-sensitive positions vary from state to state; some employers have turned to an alternative form of testing to determine the suitability of an individual to perform a job and this test is
called the impairment test.
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