Individual Employment Contracts

Charles Brown charlesb at
Mon Jun 15 09:11:08 PDT 1998

Everyone's contract of employment is individual. Every employment is a contract whether in writing or not ( I promise to do this work in exchange for your promise to pay me). Justin correctly states the American general rule: All contracts for employment are employment-at-will, under the legal fiction that it is at the sort of equal will of employer and employee. Employment -at- will means the employee can be fired at will, for no reason. However, civil rights laws prohibit firing for invidious discrimination ( race, gender, differently abled, age, religion, in some jurisdictions sexual orientation).

What is "an individual employment contract: ? One excluding the person from a bargaining unit ? As I say, every employment is a contract, and every contract is individual. Even at General Motors, if I work in a plant , my employment contract is individual between me and the company, even though most of the specifics in it are bargained for me by my representative ,the union. I can be fired individually, without the bargaining unit contract being dissolved.

The lawyer mentioned may have successfully won the right to be included in the bargaining unit, rather than excluded from it. This would be based on the National Labor Relation Act or a state equivalent.

Abolition of the employment-at-will doctrine should be part of the Labor Party's Constitutional Amendment for a Right to a Job.

Charles Brown, attorney-at-law

>>> Justin Schwartz <jschwart at> 06/13 11:19 PM >>>

There is not enough information here to allow even an informed guess about what is going on. In the ordinary run of things, the rule in private employment is employment at will, which means you can be fired or any reasn (such as refusing to sign and employment contract) or none.


On Sat, 13 Jun 1998, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> >I recently read an article (possibly on this list, I cannot remember)
> >about a lawyer who was being forced to sign an individual employment
> >agreement, and sued successfully to not be compelled to do this. I
> >believe this took place in San Diego. I found it interesting at the
> >time but did not note it.
> >
> >But now a friend of mine is in precisely this predicament. She has been
> >told to sign by Monday or be fired.
> >
> >If anyone has details of this I would greatly appreciate hearing.
> >
> >Thanks.
> >
> >Bill Brueggemeyer
> >From: Bill Brueggemeyer <billb at>
> >

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