Employment-At-Will Doctrine: Providing a Public Policy Exception to Improve Worker Safety
Occupational safety would be greatly enhanced if employees had a viable option of refusing to work under unsafe conditions without risking their jobs. This Note proposes a public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine that would give a cause of action to an employee discharged for refusing to work under unsafe conditions. Part I examines the employment-at-will rule and its recognized exceptions. Part II analyzes the inadequacies of existing statutory remedies for a discharged employee who refused to work under unsafe conditions. Finally, Part III proposes an alternative remedy: providing a common-law exception to the employment-at-will rule that will give an employee the right to refuse work under unsafe conditions without risking his job. This Note concludes that such an exception is essential to protect the health and safety of American workers.