Policy Area: Human Resources
Policy Title: At-Will Employment and Renewable Appointment Policy
Submitted Date: April 2021
Effective Date: May 2021
Submitted By: Human Resources
Approved By: Cabinet
Policy Owner: Human Resources
This is a College-wide policy and applies to all regular part-time and full-time employees of the College, except tenured/tenure-track faculty and employees hired into positions represented by a collective bargaining unit.
All employees of Albion College, except for those exceptions described below, are employed on an “at-will” basis. The purpose of this policy is to define the “at-will” employment relationship between the College and at-will employees and to define the “renewable appointment” process for all at-will employees.
Michigan is an employment-at-will state.
In the state of Michigan employment is presumed to be at-will unless a law or agreement provides otherwise. Employment with Albion College is “at-will”, meaning that any employee may terminate employment at any time, with or without reason, with or without notice, and the College reserves the same right, as long as the termination is not restricted by state or federal law or a written agreement or contract (i.e., Collective Bargaining Agreement ). Continuing to work following acceptance of this policy constitutes acknowledgement and acceptance of the "at-will" relationship.
The appointment and terms.
All exempt salaried employees receive an appointment letter when hired and when any term appointment is renewed. The appointment letter describes the conditions of employment (salary, benefits, start date, etc.) Appointment letters may specify an appointment term. Appointment terms indicate the intention of the College to continue the position for at least a defined period of time. Appointment letters may also indicate if a term has the potential for renewal and may specify if the renewal is contingent on external funding. Employees who have a term indicated in their appointment letter will be notified in writing of the renewal or discontinuance of the position as part of the annual appointment letter process.
The official College appointment letter, which can only be sent to prospective employees from the Department of Human Resources is not an employment agreement nor does it change the “at-will” relationship between the employee and the College unless the letter specifically states that it is an employment agreement. Only the President of the College has any authority to enter into any employment agreement for any specified period of time or to make any employment agreement contrary to the foregoing. Oral statements and representations are not binding on the College. The policies, procedures, and Employee Service Manual of the College do not alter the at-will employment relationship and do not create an employment agreement.
Any employment agreement (inclusive of all collective bargaining agreements), as an exception to the at-will employment relationship, must be authorized by the Board of Trustees or President, signed by the Director of Human Resources and specifically state that it is an employment agreement.
While this policy permits the College to terminate an at-will employment relationship at any time, with or without reason, managers or supervisors may not exercise an at-will termination without prior approval of the Director of Human Resources or designee.
The College reserves the right to deviate from existing policies at its discretion because of individual circumstances or special needs. The College reserves the right to modify, add, delete, or revise any provisions contained in the policies at any time, as it deems necessary or appropriate at its sole and absolute discretion.