The Employment-At-Will Doctrine In Missouri

Missouri follows the *Employment-At-Will doctrine in employment matters.  This means that either the employer or employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as there is: 


1.   No employment contract to the contrary;

2.   There is no discrimination under civil rights laws (based on race, color, age, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, or physical/mental disability);

3.   No merit laws apply, or;

4.   Missouri's limited public policy exception does not apply.


If you have been terminated from your job or you quit your job because your employer violated one or more of the reasons listed above, you may have legal options.  Remember, termination cases can be extremely complicated to prove.  If you think you have been terminated illegally or you quit your job because your employer violated one of the reasons listed above, you can take the following steps:


1.  You can apply for free legal assistance with one of the legal aid program that serves your county.  Go to the link Offices to locate the legal aid program that serves your county and make an application for legal assistance;


2.  If you feel you have been discriminated against while on a job or applying for a job, you have the right to file a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights;


3.  You can always consult with a private attorney on any of the above employment issues by using The Missouri Bar Lawyers Referral Service; or


4. You can try the Legal Answers program to seek free advice from a lawyer.  Legal Answers is a statewide virtual legal advice clinic. Qualifying users post their civil legal question to the link below. Missouri pro bono attorney volunteers, who must be authorized to provide pro bono assistance in Missouri, log in to the website, select questions to answer, and provide legal information and advice. Users are then emailed when their question receives a response.  Please note, that if you click on one of the link below you will be leaving this website.  To return, simply press the blue back arrow icon on the upper left of your desktop. 


Click on the following link to go to the Missouri site: reliablenesses


* Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations -






The Employment-At-Will Doctrine In Missouri