You can negate the at-will employment relationship and create a promise to terminate only for “just cause” through a written or oral contract. “Cause” means a fair and honest cause or reason that you act on in good faith.1 For example, in Stokes v. Dole Nut Company, a California Court of Appeal ruled that an employee creating a competing business constitutes a lack of loyalty and creates conflicts of interest that are just cause for termination.2
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