What political factors led only Montana to legislate for statutory employment protection (ie, not at will)?

The Politicus
Mar 31, 2022 12:03 PM 0 Answers
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Of the 50 US states, 49 operate according to the common law rule of at-will employment (ie, with a few exceptions, an employee can be fired at any time unless contractually stipulated otherwise). This is unusual amongst most advanced countries, where some system of protection against wrongful dismissal is present, and employees past a probationary period can only be terminated for some form of good cause.

The exception to this general rule is Montana, which since the 1980s has had statutory protection against wrongful termination.

My question is: why is Montana the only state where this is done? Is there something unique about Montana's politics or employment market that makes it this outlier? (Conversely, one could also ask: why are 49 other states different in this regard? Is something about local politics in Montana more conducive to labour rights than other states?

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