Most employment agreements in California are for at-will employment. This means that the employer can terminate the employee at any time, with or without cause, so long as termination is not for a reason otherwise unlawful (e.g. discrimination based on race or other protected classes).
Employees who are not at-will are often referred to as for-cause employees. This is because such employees typically have an employment agreement which is guaranteed for a stated period of time, and during that time, may only be terminated for good cause. What constitutes good cause is usually stated in the employment agreement and may include, among other things, fraud, failure to show up for work without sufficient explanation, failure to meet stated performance goals, etc.
Most employers rely on at-will employment to maintain maximum flexibility in dealing with their workforce and managing the risk of running a business.
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