Arizona employers and employees have an "at-will" relationship, which means that employers are free to terminate employees without notice or reason, and employees are free to quit at any time without notice or reason. Of course, the employment-at-will relationship is subject to both parties' obligation to meet other legal requirements, including contractual duties and compliance with various federal and state harassment and discrimination laws.
In order to reduce the amount of wrongful termination and related litigation, the Arizona legislature enacted the Arizona Employment Protection Act in 1996. The Act established certain guidelines designed to clarify what constituted, or did not constitute, wrongful termination under Arizona law. Prior to the enactment of the Arizona Employment Protection Act, employers faced numerous lawsuits based on alleged oral promises and implied obligations, with divergent results depending on the judge or jury. A number of those results had served to expand an employee's right to bring a lawsuit in a way that the legislature deemed unacceptable.
The Arizona Employment Protection Act contains at least four important provisions that all Arizona employers and employees should be aware of:
First, there is one-year statute of limitations for claims for breach of an employment contract or for wrongful termination. This means that such claims must be filed within one year of the termination date, significantly shortening the six-year contract limitations period that was previously applicable to some claims. Significantly, however, this limitations period does not apply to claims under the Arizona Civil Rights Act or pursuant to federal law stemming from illegal discrimination due to, among other things, race, sex, disability or age.
Second, there is an established presumption that employment relationships can be terminated at-will, and that presumption will carry the day unless there is an express written agreement stating otherwise. Typically, this will require a written contract signed by both parties, or an unequivocal guaranty described in an employee handbook or manual.
Third, the Arizona Employee Protection Act limits employees' wrongful termination claims to express breach of contract claims (described above), claims specifically allowed by Arizona statute, and "public policy" tort claims. Importantly, even these claims are limited to cases where a statute involved does not itself provide for a remedy. The tort claims involve circumstances where an employee is fired for refusing to violate the law, or blows the whistle on an employer they believe is breaking the law.
Finally, the Act expands sexual harassment claims so that certain such claims may be advanced even where federal sexual harassment laws might not apply.
At the end of the day, the Arizona Employment Protection Act creates a legal environment where it can be very difficult to successfully pursue a claim against an Arizona employer. Of course, every situation is different and the law is constantly changing, and if you believe your rights have been violated or you have been accused of wrongdoing you should speak with an experienced
to determine what your rights and obligations are.
OK, so you’ve written your resume, you’ve done 3 versions for specific job criteria, and you’re drinking the Koolaid of sending fewer, but more targeted resumes. You’re on the right path to searching for a new job.
Today’s post talks about the first tool a job seeker should consider…LinkedIn. Many readers may already be on LinkedIn, but I’m consistently amazed at the number of managers and professionals who aren’t (including IT professionals!). Your employees are on social networks, which are second nature to Millenniums, but seem foreign to Boomers and even many Gen-Xers.
TIP #1: A high page rank on Google Searches is a simple reason why LinkedIn is a must for any job seeker today.
Your resume will help you reply to job listings, but it doesn’t help employers FIND YOU very well. Job Search 2.0 is about getting found, and getting noticed. It’s more than just creating a brand…it’s creating Subject Matter Expertise (SME), then publicizing your SME, amplifying your SME, and virally marketing your SME.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your job search consisted of evaluating numerous job offers, consulting gigs, and overtures for your help? Who wouldn’t enjoy the attention and the validation of your life’s work? When you’ve successfully virally marketed your subject matter expertise, is gives you such an unfair advantage…because employers seek YOU to solve their specific problems.
Fortunately, there are LOTS of tools that can help you. And fortunately, your good-hearted reCareered coach wants to show you how to make them work for you….to give you an unfair advantage. A good LinkedIn strategy may get you front page on Google Searches.
Even if your name isn’t unique, a good LinkedIn strategy may get you a #1 ranking.
Tip #2: If LinkedIn holds your resume, that markets your Subject Matter Expertise, and allows you to turn up on Google searches. If you have a REALLY unique Subject Matter Expertise, this alone is enough to get you on Google’s first page. Most of us don’t have such rarity in our careers.
Anyways, get busy and set up your LinkedIn account.
Tip #3: Use a separate email address for LinkedIn. Why? As you become successful, in virally marketing your SME, your email could blow up. I like to time block my LinkedIn correspondence all at once, and using a separate email address allows easy organization (a trick from Getting Things Done). Get your new email account before signing up, because it will be more difficult to redirect the email later.
Tip #4: Put your top SME resume (the one for the job you want MOST) into LinkedIn. Just cut and paste. There’s no spellchecker on LinkedIn, so make sure there are no typos.
Tip #5: Draft using word for spellchecking. Cut and past spellchecked text into LinkedIn. Save your text so you’ll have a base profile that you can change as you need it.
Tip #6: Invite your job references, and ask them to write a reference for you on LinkedIn. You’ll want at least 4, but you don’t really need 100 (who has time to read that many). If you’ve been working as a consultant, use clients who will say great things about you.
Tip #7: Control the reference process, and don’t leave it up to chance. Tell your references what you’d like them to comment about. Make it specific…projects are best. Commenting about leadership skills, dedication, teamwork, getting to work on time, etc, are references that make you look average. Definitely don’t have your references comment about your ethics (Nothing wrong with ethics, but it’s how references are written when there’s nothing else nice to say). More on references in a later article.
Tip #8: Spell check again. And again.
Future posts will talk about ways to build your LinkedIn database, how to use it for job networking, what type of a database you want, LinkedIn References, and advanced LinkedIn topics.