Does My Former Employer Have To Tell Me Why I Was Terminated?

In California, employers do not have to give at-will or at will employees a reason for termination because employers can fire at-will employees for no reason at all.  In fact, it is probably a good practice for employers to not give employees reasons for firing them because it reduces an employee’s opportunity to challenge the reason.  Also employers who give employees a reason may find themselves locked into a reason which may not be good enough to save them from liability in employees’ future lawsuits.   

On the other hand, an employee who is not at-will, meaning an employee who has a contract for a specified duration of time, would have a right to know the reason for termination.This type of employee has this right because an employer can only fire an employee with a contract for a specific duration when the employer has good cause to cut the duration of the contract short.Hence, the employer would have to communicate the good cause to the fired employee.