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Most human resources professionals in the United States are quite familiar with the doctrine of employment at will, which allows employers to discharge most employees for any reason or for no reason– as long as the termination is not the result of unlawful discrimination. To take advantage of the discretion afforded to management by at-will employment– which typically is articulated as a policy in the employee handbook and is applicable to all who do not have written employment agreements)– most U.S. employers do not provide employment contracts to the vast majority of their employees, and thus do not limit their ability to terminate employment without notice and without payment of severance to the employee.

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