Whether you are a business owner or an employee, there’s a common question you have probably asked yourself at some point: Can an employer fire an employee for no reason? Follow along to discover the answer.
Can an Employer Fire an Employee for No Reason?
Employers very often wonder about the legal requirements they must meet when they decide to terminate an employee. Estefan Encarnacion, EBL Law Group Managing Partner, explains that in most cases, employers in California don’t need a specific reason to fire an employee.
“In general, it will depend on whether the employee has a contract with the employer. However, in most employer-employee relationships, there’s no contract. Both parties are free to stay in the relationship or leave it at any time,” Encarnacion says.
“An employer can terminate an employee overnight. However, employers are generally required to have a reason, something that demonstrates that they are not firing the employee on a whim or to give preferential treatment to someone else.”
The attorney encourages employers to be diligent in documenting all the incidents that are potential grounds for termination.
“Ideally, all the circumstances that lead to that situation are documented,” Encarnacion advises. “For example, you can say ‘You didn’t’ comply with this rule so I’m going to write a report’ and then that report goes into the employee’s record. But most people don’t do that, so employers need to be careful.”
Encarnacion also notes that the law works both ways. “In California, there’s no requirement for employees to give the employer a notice when they leave a job. People give a two-week notice out of convenience and because it’s a custom. But if I’m an employee, I can just tell my employer ‘Today is my last day. I’m not coming back.'”
DISCLAIMER: The material on this website is for general information only and is not to be construed as legal advice or opinion, and does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between you and EBL Law Group.
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