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Separation From Employment: California

Separation From Employment requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Alice Wang and Jennifer K. Achtert, Fisher Phillips


  • California employers may not include provisions in separation agreements that ban employees from disclosing information about unlawful acts. See Separation and Nondisparagement Agreements.
  • Employment relationships in California can be terminated by either party, at any time, with or without cause subject to certain exceptions. See Termination for Cause.
  • At will employees who provide adequate notice of resignation to their employers in California are statutorily entitled to certain wages and benefits within a fixed period of time. See Notice of Resignation.
  • California state courts analyze claims for forced resignation or constructive discharge by examining the employer's intent and state of mind leading up to the resignation. See Constructive Discharge.
  • California employers must comply with state regulations pertaining to payment of final wages to terminated employees, including specific provisions that pertain to layoffs and employees engaged in seasonal, agricultural endeavors. See Payment of Final Wages Upon Termination.
  • There is no legal requirement under California law that employers provide severance pay to an employee upon termination of employment. See Severance Pay.