New Jersey is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, however, the New Jersey courts have held that mandatory statements and procedures contained in an employee handbook or policy manual may create an employment contract.
For example, the New Jersey courts have upheld an employee's breach of contract claim based on a manual that was distributed to all employees that contained specific job security provisions as well as a comprehensive termination procedure (Witkowski v. Thomas J. Lipton Inc., 643 A.2d 546 (NJ Sup. Ct. 1994)).
Legal tip: According to the New ...