What do employment-at-will and for-cause mean?

Employment at will means that an employer can terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever. For example, if you’re going to work every day and you think you’re doing a good job, but the employer doesn’t think you’re meeting their standards, they can terminate you and you have no recourse against them. ‘For cause’ means you did something to cause your own demise. You were insubordinate, you didn’t show up to work, there was some sort of misconduct. And where this is critical, is in the unemployment benefits context. Because if you’re fired for cause, then you are precluded from getting unemployment benefits. If you’re fired just because you’re an at will employee and weren’t meeting the standards of the employer, you should be qualified for unemployment benefits in New York and New Jersey.

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