Although most California employees are “at will” employees and can therefore be terminated with or without cause or notice (refer to the “at will” doctrine addressed in the Wrongful Termination section), an exception to “at will” employment exists where the employee has a contract for a specified period of time. This generally means that termination of the employment contract must follow the steps listed in the particular employment contract.
Most employment contracts define the specific reasons (i.e., causes) under which an employee may be terminated.
It is advisable to consult an attorney during pre-contractual negotiations. An experienced attorney can review the existing terms of the contract presented to you and advise you on the terms or language which could be more favorable to you — especially with respect to termination provisions.
Breach of Contract
Once an employment contract has been affected by the parties, the parties to the contract must comply with the terms stated therein. Most frequently, disputes may arise when one party desires to terminate the employment contract. An evaluation must then be made as to whether a breach of contract has been committed.