California's Labor Code Provides Employers With Important Protections

One example is the state's law regarding at-will employment. Specifically, the California Labor Code provides that:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

In other words, the law presumes that an employment relationship between a California employer and employee is, by default, an at-will employment relationship. This means both the employer and employee can terminate the employment — at any time for any reason — or for no reason at all. However, there are exceptions including all California laws and regulations that prohibit all forms of discrimination.

Preserving At-Will Employment

Certain steps that employers can take to ensure they preserve at-will employment, and the benefits associated therewith, include the following:

  • An at-will employment notice on all employment applications and job offers
  • Require employees to sign an acknowledgement of at—will employment prior to starting work
  • Train managers to refrain from making any statements to job applicants and employees that could be construed as an "assurance of long-term employment" or a guarantee of work
  • Include an at-will employment notice in employee handbooks

Understanding The Exceptions

There are dozens of exceptions to the general at-will employment laws, including all traditional forms of discrimination and whistleblowing that can be asserted by an employee as the real reason for the termination of his employment. Email or call Anticouni & Associates for a free consultation with an experienced employment law attorney to learn more.