Location of Repository

Modifying At-Will Employment Contracts

By Rachel Arnow-Richman


This Article addresses the problem of “mid-term” modification of employment—the common employer practice of introducing adverse changes in incumbent employees’ terms of employment on penalty of termination. It calls for a universal reasonable notice rule under which courts would enforce mid-term modifications only where the worker received reasonable advance notice of the change. An employer’s sudden imposition of new terms prevents employees from exercising what is often their only form of bargaining power —the ability to credibly threaten departure. Rejecting retrograde judicial approaches that turn on the presence or absence of consideration, the Article argues for a “procedural good faith” rule that directly polices the risk of coercion consistent with contemporary contract modification law. Courts should enforce mid-term modifications only where the employer provides enough advance notice to allow the employee time not only to meaningfully consider the proposed change, but also to compare and secure alternate work

Topics: Contracts, Labor and Employment Law
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu:bclr-3491
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.ed... (external link)
  • http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.ed... (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.