Alabama is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, the Alabama courts have held that specific statements, as opposed to general policy statements, contained in an employee handbook or policy manual that are communicated to employees may create an employment contract.
For example, the courts have upheld implied contract claims based on a personnel manual that contained detailed procedures for termination (Hoffman-LaRoche v. Campbell, 512 So.2d 725 (Ala. Sup.Ct. 1987)).