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Appropriate disclaimers in employment documents, acknowledged by employee, negate any inference of an employment contract inconsistent with employment at will.

January 1, 2010
Brooks v. Miami Valley Hosp., 2009-Ohio-6813, 2009 Ohio App. LEXIS 5708 (2d App. Dist. Dec. 23, 2009)

An employee's 90-day probationary period was extended by 30 days as a result of instances requiring reprimands. As a result of additional complaints about the employee's performance, the employer terminated him at the end of the extended probationary period. The Second Appellate District affirmed summary judgment for the employer, holding that, even if the employee were to be considered a regular employee after the expiration of the initial probationary period, the employment documents upon which the employee relied all contained employment-at-will provisos, which he had acknowledged by signing immediately under such disclaimers. The signed disclaimers negated any inference of an employment contract, and the employer was legally entitled to discharge the employee on the basis of the doctrine of employment at will.

Case Law Alert - 1st Qtr 2010

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