“Right to work” laws govern hiring of employees. In a nutshell, “right to work” means that a person has the right to work for a company without being required to either join a union or financially support a union. Even in “right to work” states, unions can still legally operate. In fact, they may even still represent all employees in grievances and negotiations. However, they can’t force a person to join the union or pay union dues if the person doesn’t want to.
“Employment at will” means that either an employer or employee can end a working relationship at any time, for any reason, with no notice. You can be terminated—or quit your job—on the spot.
Most states are “employment at will” states. In those states, there are very few exceptions to “employment at will” law, although the exceptions are significant. The only exceptions are that employers can’t fire anyone for reasons protected by federal legislation. That means that discriminatory firings (age, sex, religion, race…the usual suspects) are still illegal in “employment at will” states. So, you can breathe a sigh of relief if you think you’ve been fired for discriminatory reasons.