This essay presents an answer to this question.

If I were writing a legal brief,I would use the conventional citation order given in the

Wood, § 134, at pages 272-273 (1877).

Whether these conclusions aresupportable or whether for other compelling reasons employers should,as a matter of policy, be held liable to at-will employees dischargedin circumstances for which no liability has existed at common law, areissues better left to resolution at the hands of the Legislature.

Wood cited four American cases in support of his statement aboutat-will employment.

However, of those four casessupport Wood's statement!

As a freelancer, it pays to prepare for the worst when it comes to a client cancelling at short notice. Ensure a contract is in place to protect you from such an eventuality, stipulating exact terms of compensation. You should also research the client’s reputation before starting work, whilst also adhering to the terms of contract from your end.

Tune, Note,  26 Stanford Law Review 335, 341-342, n.54 (1973-74);

416 (1895), the court repudiated the common lawpresumption that a general hiring was for a term of one year anduncritically embraced the at-will rule as framed by Wood.

Feinman,  20 American Journal of Legal History 118, 126-127 (1976);


1, 13-14, 20-21 (1915).These two opinions of the U.S.

As mentioned above, ending at-will employmentmight also offend the executives of labor unions,by removing one of the reasons for the existence of labor unions.

Supreme Court were overruled by:



Legislatures – which are not only popularly elected but also dependenton businesses, people, and organizations for campaign contributions –are notoriously reluctant to address a political "hot potato"like ending at-will employment, which would offend businesses.

Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937);



Judicial reluctance to alter the absolute nature of at-will employmenthas restricted the availability of judicial remedies forwrongful discharge in the USA,with the consequence that prudent employees will follow the three monkey rule(i.e., hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil)in order to avoid termination of their employment.

NLRB, 313 U.S. 177, 187 (1941);

If the legislature believes that the common law is mistaken, thelegislature – as part of the system of checks and balances –can pass a statute that, in effect, overrules the common law.

Northwestern Iron & Metal Co., 335 U.S. 525, 536 (1949).


In the USA, the three branches of government (i.e., executive,legislative, and judicial) are One of the good featuresof these three equal branches is that each branch checks and balancesthe other two branches.

In 1985, an attorney wrote, in a scholarly article:




In a case in which the Massachusetts Supreme Court refused to makea public-policy exception to at-will employment, Chief Justice Liacosgently chided his colleagues in a dissenting opinion:

It is often referred to as Wood's Rule, named after Horace C.

And, as mentioned here, judges have been reluctant to make anexpansive public policy exception and judges have absolutelyrefused to end the doctrine of at-will employment.