Mississippi College Law Review

Publication Date

Spring 2024


This Note is about an existing plague on employment-law jurisprudence in the Fifth Circuit. Small and big companies alike can terminate an employee for no discriminatory reason but then be tagged with a lawsuit that has a fair chance of success, just because the disgruntled former employee is willing to lie or the parties disagree over the facts. This is true even though no evidence of actual discrimination exists. The work-rule doctrine changes at-will employment to good-will employment under the guise of federal employment discrimination statutes. Whatever your position is on the longstanding at-will employment regimes, there can be no doubt that discrimination statutes do not, by their text, outlaw adverse employment decisions that are unrelated to a statutorily-protected trait. But in the Fifth Circuit, these clear statutory limitations are subverted by the work-rule doctrine.



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