Most employees know that North Carolina is an employment at-will state. That means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time and for any reason except an illegal one. Illegal reasons include retaliation for whistle-blowing or filing a workers’ compensation claim, or firing someone for discriminatory reasons.
For at-will employees, the employer does not need “just cause” for termination.
At-will employees also have the right to quit at any time and for any reason. They aren’t required, for example, to provide their employers with notice.
If there is an employment contract between the employer and the employee, then termination of the employee is restricted by common law or by the termination provisions of the contract. North Carolina courts have held that even if the contract does not discuss termination provisions, there is an implied provision that the employee can be terminated only for cause.
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