What does at-will employment mean in Oklahoma?

It is prudent for employers and employees to know where they stand legally.

In Oklahoma, the “ terminable at-will employment doctrine” allows an employer to discharge an employee for good cause, for no cause, or even for morally wrong cause without being liable for a legal wrong.

For the employee . . .
It means your Oklahoma employer can terminate you at any time, for any reason.  

For the employer . . .
It means you can terminate your employment at any time, for any reason.  Each day of employment is a try out for the next.

Even if you are an “at-will” employee, your employer generally cannot terminate you because of your skin color, your gender, your national origin, and some other protected status along those lines.

If you have an employment contract that provides for employment with the business for a specific period of time, then you are not an “at-will” employee.


Why is each day of work under at-will employment tryout for the next?  Because each day the employer or the employee can decide to end the relationship.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."