Please Note: Due to COVID-19, Full-Service Telephone Consultations Available

Thatcher Law Firm
Click Here to Email the Firm
View Our Practice Areas

What is 'continuous for-cause employment'?

A recent Maryland Court of Appeals case asked the court "to re-examine the contours of the firmly established doctrine of at-will employment." The court was asked to look at a written contract that contained "a for-cause provision but no definite term of employment."

The court was asked to decide if the document in question was a lifetime contract, an at-will contract or "something else." The court decided on "something else."

In doing so, it created a new category of employment in our state now known as "continuous for-cause" employment. The category includes people who have a written contract with no specific end date (making their employment continuous) and who can only be terminated "for cause."

Causes for termination often include such things as intentional misdeeds by the employee, fraudulent conduct, theft of company property, deliberate breech of company policies and substantial failure to do their job.

A recent National Law Review article urged employers to take a look at the contracts they have with employees to determine if they really want workers in this new category. After all, it might give employees unwanted leverage in disputes over termination and severance agreements.

In the case the Maryland Court of Appeals heard, the former employee received $255,868 after a court ruled that the company had breached the employment contract and wrongfully terminated the employee.

However, the court noted that Maryland's at-will employment doctrine stands.

If you have questions about a dispute over termination, severance pay, whether or not you are an at-will, continuous for-cause or for-cause employee, discuss your unique circumstances with an employment law attorney.

Source: National Law Review, "Maryland Court of Appeals Holds that Inclusion of Permissive 'Termination For Cause' Provisions Negates Presumption of At-Will Employment and Creates 'Continuous For Cause' Contract," Sept. 22, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • sl-2020
  • Super Lawyer Linda Hitt Thatcher
  • Washingtonian Top Lawyers
  • The Washingtonian | Washington's Top Lawyers 2018
  • The Washingtonian | Washington's Top Lawyers 2017
  • Best Washingtonian 2015
  • Top Lawyers 2013
  • Washingtonian Top Lawyers 2011
  • The Washingtonian | Washington's Top Lawyers 2009
  • Washingtonian Top Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent

Thatcher Law Firm
7849 Belle Point Drive
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Toll Free: 866-604-3882
Phone: 301-850-1246
Fax: 301-441-9602
Map & Directions