safe, proven way to terminate any employee. Applies to any state including
Employers operating in California should understand California at-will
employment. It's a simple idea, but one that's often misunderstood
by employers and employees.
At-will employment is a term applied to any employee who doesn't
have a clearly defined contractual employment agreement. It means,
essentially, than an employer can dismiss an employee at any time
If you are dealing with a troubled (or troublemaking) employee,
this can be a blessing because without having to deal with difficult
employees can be wearing, both to the workplace and the employer.
What is California at-will employment exactly? It's defined as any
employment arrangement where there's no contract and either party
- that is, the employee or employer - can terminate the employment
any time with proper notice.
California At Will Employment Can Be Tricky
Knowing that your employees are at-will employees doesn't protect
you from battling through a lawsuit or other attempt by a disgruntled
employee to get their job back or receive monetary compensation.
Experts suggest several methods to protect the company so there will
be as few lawsuits or other legal maneuvers as possible by former
First, be sure that all employees who don't have a contract understand
they are at-will employees. Some employment experts even suggest
employers have new hires sign an agreement showing they understand
Second, all California at-will employment is just that - at-will.
It's important the agreement you have employees sign makes this clear.
Unless there is a contract spelling out why and how an employee can
be terminated, there is no agreement to that effect. You can let
an employee go at any time.
Third, educate your managers about California at-will employment.
It's important they understand that at no time should they make any
guarantees about employment to any employees. Many employers have
managers sign agreements showing they understand at-will employment
as well, though this isn't necessary.
If you do have written employment agreements with any employees,
make sure the terms of the agreement include their at-will status
under the California at-will employment statutes. Also, make sure
the agreement does not guarantee any future employment with the company.
This is an important step as many employees think if they have an
employment contract, they are also protected from at-will firings,
and that's not the case. Make sure the employment agreement states
to legally terminate employee under california at-will employment