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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The absolute right of an employer to fire an employee at will is disappearing in certain jurisdictions within the United States. This trend is significant since the majority of American workers are not unionized and thus lack effective bargaining power. Most employees are hired for indefinite periods of time and serve at the will of the employer. Courts, however, are carving out exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine. If the United States continues to move in the direction of requiring "just" or "objective" cause before an employee can be dismissed, significant changes may occur in the labor market. In anticipation of such changes, scholars and policy-makers must examine just cause dismissal and its consequences more closely. For assistance in evaluating just cause dismissal in the United States, we can look to the example of Sweden, which has had statutory just cause protection for its employees since 1974. Sweden's experience over the last eleven years provides valuable insight into the degree of protection that is workable and, more broadly, whether this growing form of protection is a desirable development in the United States.

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