Recent developments concerning the application of the employment-at-will rule demonstrate that courts are reluctant to recognize exceptions to the rule based on considerations of public policy in the absence of a legislative mandate. Jurisdictions, including New York, have declared that the recognition of a cause of action in tort for abusive discharge should be a function of the state legislature. Further, courts have been unwilling to imply private causes of action to protect the rights of employees under federal and state law. While certain "whistle-blower" and unjust dismissal legislation has had limited success in other jurisdictions, courts could become more willing to recognize implied-in-fact contract rights to job security based on the "totality" of the parties' employment relationship. For this reason, the recognition of public policy exceptions to the at-will rule does not have to be considered an exclusive function of the legislature.
John DeGiuseppe, Jr.,
The Recognition of Public Policy Exceptions to the Employment-at-Will Rule: A Legislative Function?,
11 Fordham Urb. L.J. 721
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol11/iss4/1