Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
I believe you are mixing up the terminology "right to work" with "at will
" employment. Right to work states have laws that prohibit unions and employers from entering contracts that require all employees in a classification join the union. "At will" employment, on the other hand, means you can be disciplined or terminated for any reason that is not otherwise a violation of law. These exceptions are the civil rights protections (e.g., age, race, sex, religion), violations of public policy
(e.g., fired for attending jury duty
, for refusing to break the law, for reporting illegal activity by the employer (aka a "whistleblower
violation"), or having some contractual right to a just cause employment (meaning the employer cannot terminate you without industrial due process - which basically insures a fair and accurate investigation and decision). Without any of these exceptions, courts find that the employer has a legitimate business right to operate its business however it sees fit and the court will not second-guess the employer. These policies and decisions may in fact be awful and clearly not fair or even make good business sense. However, they are not ultimately unlawful.
Some handbooks do in fact create a contract between employers and employees that requires the employer follow certain procedures in their discipline and discharge of the employee. Employers’ oral or written assurances regarding job tenure or disciplinary procedures can create an implied contract for employment under which the employer cannot terminate an employee without just cause and cannot take any other adverse employment action without following such procedures. Employers, however, can prevent written assurances (e.g., a policy in their handbook) from creating an implied contract by including a clear and unambiguous disclaimer characterizing those assurances as company policies that do not create contractual obligations.
The questions you specifically ask - whether the employer is bound by a past practice because it treated others in a particular matter or whether the employer has to provide the results of an investigation, would generally only be required if the employer unequivocally promised a just cause employment in their handbook, and as I've explained this rarely occurs these days. Thus, you should thoroughly review the handbook to see if it does give you the right to just cause, but I'm doubtful it does if the employer is at all legally sophisticated.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.