I was terminated in an “at will” state today, what are my rights?

My boss told me, however, the position was actually eliminated last Friday but he said that if it wasn’t eliminated he was going to fire me for misconduct. There is no documentation of said misconduct on file. He only references my last review 7 months ago – a one-sided, no chance for discussion review. Can he tell me he was going to fire me even if the Board eliminated the position? Also, can I demand he prove “misconduct”? Finally, he didn’t have any paperwork or anything else for me to sign at the time of termination. Is this legal? I had to ask for a letter

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Employment at will means exactly what it sounds like: your employment is at the will--or better yet, the "whim"--of your employer. Your employer may terminate you at any time, for any reason whatsoever--which means even if you did nothing wrong--without warning, notice, or prior documentation; the employer is not required to give you any paperwork at or after termination, and is not even required to explain its reasoning.

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