Demurrer Without Leave to Amend California

In McClain v. Octagon Plaza, LLC (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 784, 791-792, the court outlined the law governing appellate review of a trial court's order sustaining a demurrer without leave to amend: "'Because a demurrer both tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint and involves the trial court's discretion, an appellate court employs two separate standards of review on appeal. . . . Appellate courts first review the complaint de novo to determine whether or not the . . . complaint alleges facts sufficient to state a cause of action under any legal theory, or in other words, to determine whether or not the trial court erroneously sustained the demurrer as a matter of law." '''Second, if a trial court sustains a demurrer without leave to amend, appellate courts determine whether or not the plaintiff could amend the complaint to state a cause of action." Labor Code section 2922 establishes a statutory presumption of at-will employment. In the absence of an agreement that the employee may be terminated only for cause, the employee is, pursuant to this statute, an at-will employee. " 'An at-will employee may be terminated for no reason, or for an arbitrary or irrational reason . . . .' " However, " 'there can be no right to terminate for an unlawful reason or a purpose that contravenes fundamental public policy.' " (Casella v. SouthWest Dealer Services, Inc. (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 1127, 1138-1139.)