Employment in California is generally “at-will,” which means that either the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time without good cause. However, under certain circumstances termination may be considered unlawful, and an employer can be exposed to possible liability for wrongful termination. It is important to know when termination may be wrongful under the law so that possible legal claims by former employees can be avoided.
If you have an employment contract
If you and your employee entered into an employment contract that provides job security for a specific duration, California law requires you to show good cause for terminating the employee in breach of the contract. At times, in the absence of a written contract, an employee may try to claim that an employment contract was implied based on promises or other statements made by an employer. In order to avoid any claims of an implied contract, be sure to include clear language regarding “at-will” employment in your handbooks, policies, and all communications with potential employees and employees. Continue Reading