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At Will Employment info Massachusetts

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  • At Will Employment info Massachusetts

    I know that "At Will Employment" means that an employer can let a person go for any reason at any time (with certain exceptions). I know it also means that an employee may quit at any time for any reason (unless there is a signed contract)

    My question is, was there ever a time when an employee could not quit whenever they wanted for whatever reason they wanted?

  • #2
    Historically, yes.

    For example, in the 19th century servants were hired on a yearly basis and paid quarterly. They were contracted for that year and could not leave until the year was up.

    I can't tell you precisely when it changed without going back to my old SPHR study materials, but I believe it was around the early part of the 20th century, corresponding roughly to the formation of labor unions.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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