When employees complain that they have no rights under California’s at-will employment presumption, I explain that it is something that can be negotiated like any contract provision. In other words, if you want a parking spot, negotiate for it. If you want the company only to be able to terminate you for cause, negotiate for it.
Of course as I offer this advice, I am cognizant of the fact that these sort of negotiations usually take place only in circumstances where the employee is bringing a very desirable skill set to the table. In other words, Mark Zuckerberg is probably in a better position to negotiate away the at-will presumption than, say, someone applying for work at Target.
Or is he?
In its registration documents for the upcoming initial public offering, the details of the contracts with Facebook’s top executives have been revealed. As it turns out, CEO Zuckerberg, along with COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman are all at-will employees of Facebook.
So the next time an employee decries the at-will presumption, just tell them they are in good company.