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Employment-At-Will in Organization

The employment-at-will is applied in Wal-

Mart that allows the company to terminate employees at any time with or without any reason. It has a clearly written at-will statement in employee book and follows normal employment policies and procedures to terminate an employee. Wal-Mart applies the at-will doctrine considering particular cause of termination and avoids any discrimination and unfair termination claim. Through this clause, firm remains flexible to apply its policies and free to follow rigid contractual obligations (Wal-Mart, 2013). Firm implements this law ethically and does not fire the employee without giving a reason. At-will clause of company is used as legal defense to follow its policies effectively.


Exceptions to Employment-At-Will


The exceptions to employment-at-will limit its application in the organization. At-will employment relationship can be restricted by court decision or statue that can affect the flexibility of employer regarding termination of employees. It is also difficult for the company to rely on this doctrine because it varies from state to state (Doherty, Helms & Wright, 2005). Company cannot fire the employee in condition of no violation of the state’s public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute. Under an implied contract, the company cannot fire the employee due to absence of written statement of employment relationship (NCSL, 2013). Apart from this, statutory exceptions also protect employees from at-will status under discrimination laws.


Implications of Employment-At-Will


Managers might use the knowledge of employment-at-will and its exceptions to protect the interests of the organization. It can be used by the manager to determine the termination of employment relationship at any time with or without cause. They can identify those circumstances and aspects that support the termination of employees from the job. At the same time, knowledge regarding exceptions to at-will doctrine can be also useful for managers to decide the termination of employees without causing any discrimination issue (Wal-Mart, 2013). They can protect the interests of organization by avoiding the dismissal of an employee based on discrimination practices.


Role of Employees and Independent Contractors


Employees perform those roles and duties that are assigned by managers, leaders and management of company. On the other hand, independent contractors operate under a business designation and have their own employees. For example, Wal-Mart recruits employees as per their skills and knowledge and takes their services regularly. Employees at Wal-Mart play various roles related to selling, HR management, operational management, supply chain management, etc. in different departments such as finance, marketing, human resource, IT, etc. (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). On the other side, in Wal-Mart, independent contractors can be legal advisors, accountants, auditors, computer and software consultants, trainers, etc. They don’t work on regular basis, but work as per requirements of company.


Similarities and Differences in Employees and Independent Contractors


The one thing is common in the employees and independent contractors that both provide their services to the company. With the help of services provided by both, company achieves its business objectives effectively. They use their knowledge and skills to conduct various business activities and impart an important role in success of the firm. They differ in dealing with employers because employers can guide and give instructions to an employee about work and procedure, but an independent contractor knows about his/her tasks outlined in the contract. Additionally, employer can provide training to employees to perform effectively, but independent contractors generally use their own procedures and processes without training (Emerson, 2009). Apart from this, there is a continuing relationship between an employee and an employer, while an independent contractor has a relationship with employer till contract period.


Temporary Employee


Temporary employees might be characterized by a dual relationship with temporary employment agency as well as client organization. In concern of Wal-Mart, it has become a fast growing employment option for the company to get perform the tasks by temporary employees on short term basis at lower cost. As per federal law, it is necessary for the company to keep temporary employees only up to a year. Through this, company fills a temporary vacancy of another employee due to leave and sudden firing (Picchi, 2013). It also reduces expenses like fringe benefits, health care coverage, etc. and obtains flexibility related to work by avoiding full time employment.




Doherty, J. J., Helms, M. M. & Wright, G. W. (2005). Employee Discharge and Documentation. UK: Lorman

Business Center.


Emerson, R.W. (2009). Business Law. UK: Barron’s Educational Series.


Mathis, R.L. & Jackson, J.H. (2010). Human Resource Management. USA: Cengage Learning.


NCSL (2013). Retrieved from:


Picchi, A. (2013). Why is Wal-Mart hiring so many temp workers? Retrieved




Wal-Mart (2013). Retrieved from:

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