In the previous article, we analyzed the impact of regulations in WARN on the mass dismissal of Twitter employees by billionaire Elon Musk. In this article, TNTP will continue to analyze how the rights of employees and employers in the United States are equal in the spirit of at-will employment.
1. What is the at-will employment?
According to the Labor Law of the United States, at-will employment has the content that employees and employers in all states of the territory of the United States (except Montana) have the right to terminate the employment relationship equally without any legal binding (except for acts of terminating labor contracts in violation of the prohibition of law).
As such, an employer in the United States has the right to terminate an employee’s contract at any time for any reason (except for reasons prohibited by law or without cause) without legal responsibility. Similarly, employees are also free to terminate their employment relationship with their employer at any time, for any reason or even for no reason, without any any legal consequences.
2. Looking back at the case between Twitter and Elon Musk
Public opinion in the US is stirring after billionaire Elon Musk’s decision to fire more than 75% of Twitter employees. Many activists and lawyers in the United States have criticized Elon Musk’s behavior as a clear demonstration of “modern capitalism” willing to trample on the rights of employees for money. Many cases show Elon Musk with the image of a “cold-blooded dictator” who is ready to fire people who dare to “slander” him, as in the case of Eric Frohnhoefer – a software engineer who has worked with the company for 6 years was announced by Elon Musk to be fired shortly after he had “conflict” statements with Elon Musk on a tweet. Eric was soon blocked from accessing Twitter’s internal system.
It can be seen that Elon Musk’s statements and actions are causing outrage among employees at Twitter and employees in the United States. However, if you look at it in the opposite direction, employees at Twitter have always had a very balanced interest in their new boss Elon Musk.
At-will employment in the United States make it very clear that employees and employers in the United States have equal freedoms in the employment relationship. Any employee has the right to freely work, if they wish, they have the complete right to unilaterally quit without even having to notify the employer, or even without any reason.
It can be seen that employees at Twitter also have the complete right to leave work at any time they want without any restrictions or need for any reason. Elon Musk also has no way to prevent employees from wanting to quit at Twitter, even if the person leaving is potentially damaging to Twitter because employees working on a voluntary basis will not suffer any binding.
From this perspective, it can be seen that Elon Musk or Twitter’s employees have the same rights and interests, although public opinion is criticizing Elon Musk’s behaviour to damage the interests of employees. But if you look at it from another perspective, Elon Musk is simply using his right, a wise guest, and Twitter employees have also been given the same rights and even more advantages their boss by law, however they may not know how to use them or do not want to use them effectively.
Thus, TNTP’s view is that the labor relationship between Elon Musk and Twitter employees, as well as the labor relationship between employees and employers in the United States, has been legally established. This country’s law establishes as a fair game. Any party in the game has the same rights and obligations, and there is no injustice between the parties from a legal perspective. However, like every game, the people who benefit more in the labor relationship are always those who know how to take advantage of the rights granted by the law effectively.
Above is an article giving TNTP’s views on the at-will employment relationship with the case between Elon Musk and Twitter, hope this article is useful to you.