Chapter 9: Private-sector laws
The doctrine of at-will employment applicable to most employees of companies and corporations in the United States has influenced the character of whistleblower laws pertinent to the private sector. Under that doctrine, absent a specific contract, both the employee and the employer can end the employment relationship at any time. In practice, the doctrine permits an employer to fire an employee for no reason. Contracts limiting this discretion arise from individual negotiations, usually by the highest levels of corporate management or through collective bargaining agreements between the employer and a union representing some or all of its employees. In this context, whistleblower laws restrict that authority by prohibiting retaliation for disclosures protected by those laws.
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