Examining the at-will employment relationship

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2020 | Firm News |

As a business owner or executive in Los Angeles, you know full well that one of your company’s most valuable assets is its workforce. That is what makes having to let an employee go so difficult (no matter the reason). Still, such difficult decisions are often required, even when met with the threat of legal action.

Those threats often involve accusations of wrongful termination. Many in your same position have come to us here at the Law Offices of Kevin I. Gross & Associates for confirmation that such accusations are baseless. The answer to that question often depends on where a terminated employee’s status stood in relation to the concept of at-will employment.

Defining at-will employment

Like most states, California follows the at-will employment doctrine. Indeed, Section 2922 of the California Labor Code states that either party to an employment term can terminate it at any time according to their will. All too often people focus on the fact that this allows you (as an employer) to terminate an employee for any valid reason (provided that it is not an unlawful one). However, many fail to see how that same law allows people to move on from a job whenever they please.

Avoiding at-will employment exceptions

Common counterarguments made to terminations occurring under the umbrella of at-will employment often focus on its exceptions. The most notable of these is having a written contract of employment. Yet even when your company does not formally contract its employees, many may often say that an implied contract exists between you. Yet absent verifiable guarantees of job security, general statements made between you and employee fall short of this standard. Typically, courts tend to dismiss such general language as aspirational rather than promissory.

You can discover more information on answering accusations made by employees by continuing to explore our site.


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