Just Cause in Montana: Did the Big Sky Fall?

September 2, 2008

ACS is pleased to distribute an issue brief by Barry D. Roseman, Partner at McNamara, Roseman, Martinez & Kazmierski, L.L.P. in Denver, Colorado, entitled, Just Cause in Montana: Did the Big Sky Fall? In this issue brief, Roseman analyzes the common law doctrine of employment at will, "under which many employees may be fired for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all" and urges consideration of an alternative approach, under which an employee may be discharged only for "just cause." Noting that one of the arguments against the just cause approach is that it allegedly leads to higher unemployment and lower job growth rates, Roseman has examined data in the one state in the U.S. that has adopted the just cause standard, Montana, and reports that in Montana, the data do not support this argument. His findings are especially timely, he argues, because a ballot measure that would amend the Colorado constitution to adopt the just cause standard will appear on the ballot in that state this fall. He concludes, "It is time many believe, long past time for the federal government and the states to enact laws to require just cause for termination of employment."

Read the full Issue Brief here: Roseman_Issue_Brief

By Barry D. Roseman