Bankey v. Storer Broadcasting Co.


– After working for 13yrs, Bankey was fired on march 23rd, 1981.
– Sued, stating that an employee must be discharged for “cause.”
– In Jan, 1981, Storer revised the handbook stating that employee’s could be fired “at will.”
– May an employer change its written policy statements by adopting a generally applicable policy and alter the employment relationship of existing employees to one, at will of the employer in the absence of express notification to the employees from the outset that the employer reserves the right to make such a change?

Procedural History

– Bankey sued and won.
– Storer, appealed and won.
– Bankey appealed in supreme court and lost.


– Can an employer change its policies for existing employees from one of termination “due to cause” vs. termination due to “at will.”


– Yes.


– An employer may, without express reservation of the right to do so, unilaterally change its written policy from one of discharge for cause to one of discharge of free will, IF the employer gives affected employees reasonable notice.


– This has to do with policy changes…
– There was a form of consideration here, the benefit derives by establishing such policies and these policies being carried out.
o Employment relationship enhanced.
o They are fair, and are applied consistently an uniformly to each employee
o Collective productivity, on BOTH sides…policies make working situations “better.”


– Supreme Court affirmed.

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