Termination - With or Without Cause?

Does an amployer - at the time of termination - have to state whether the termination is "with" or "without" cause? I was terminated by my employer, who refused to take a position on the reason for my termination - most likely in order to try to avoid contract terms that stipulated a payout for termination without cause. Can they do that?

How long can they wait before declaring a reason - can they refuse to take a position forever? What are my rights and options?

Thanks for your help.

1 answer  |  asked Oct 17, 2001 12:27 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
they have to say

if you have a written contract providing for severance benefits in the event of a termination not for cause, you are entitled to know whether the termination was with or without cause. failing or refusing to provide such a statement, may breach the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
try applying for unemployment benefits. if they do not object to your receiving benefits, you have a pretty good implied statement that the termination was not for cause, and you can demand your severance. (of course, that will preclude your collecting unemployment for a time!). if they dispute your claim, you have your answer that they contend your termination was for cause.
talk to an attorney experienced in employment law who can better advise you after examining the terms of your contract.
if you live in southern cal, please call me to arrange an appointment.
janet koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Oct 17, 2001 3:19 PM [EST]

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