This article will be of interest to those that are curious about how American employment law compares with that of England and Wales.
When considering an employee’s rights one of the fundamental things to consider is which jurisdiction they work in. This is because, as can be seen in this article, an employee’s rights can differ substantially depending on which country’s laws govern the employment contract.
Of all the differences, the fact that American “at will” employment rights do not recognise unfair dismissal is probably the biggest. In England and Wales, provided that the employee has at least 2 year’s service an employer can only dismiss for one of five potentially fair reasons, and is further required to carry out a fair procedure. It appears that under American law employers have far more freedom to dismiss an employee (without any notice) if the employment is “at will”.
Lawyers dealing with US companies with workplaces in the UK, or liaising with those organisations US attorneys, are often struck (as the organisations themselves are) by the differences in employment law across the pond.