DUHÉ, Circuit Judge:
Art C. Chauvin, Appellant, seeks review of a summary judgment in favor of the Appellees, Tandy Corporation and James Nichols. The district court held that Chauvin was an at-will employee of the Tandy Corporation, and therefore, his complaints of wrongful termination, negligent misrepresentation, abuse of rights, equitable estoppel, and tortious interference with contract were unfounded. We affirm.
Appellant was hired by the Tandy Corporation ("Tandy") as a part-time sales person in 1980. At that time, Chauvin received a Statement of Company Policy, Tandy Corporation Employment Agreement and an Employee Handbook. Chauvin "understood" that these documents embodied an employment contract. These documents, however, did not state the length of the employment relationship, and were silent as to whether the employment relationship was at will.
In 1984, Chauvin signed a document which stated that his employment was at will and terminable by either party at any time. He also received a copy of a revised Employee Handbook and acknowledged that he read it. The handbook stated that the employment relationship was at will and that nothing in the application form, employee handbook, or operating manual was intended to be an express or implied contract of employment. All subsequent editions of the handbook and the operating manual contained the same language.
In 1988, Chauvin elected to participate in the Senior Manager Program. The Senior Manager Compensation Plan stated that it was not an employment contract and that a Senior Manager was an employee at-will. Chauvin read and understood this plan. In October 1988, Chauvin became the Senior Manager of a new store in the Virgin Islands. As an enticement for moving there, he received a special pay plan. This pay plan also stated that it was not an employment contract and that the employment relationship was at-will.
In September 1988, in a discussion with Defendant Nichols, Chauvin was asked to commit to staying at least two years in the Virgin Islands. He agreed. In May or July 1990, he was asked to stay on for an additional length of time. Chauvin was terminated by Tandy in March 1991.
I. Standard of Review
Summary judgment is appropriate if the record discloses "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
In addition, a reviewing court is not limited to the district court's reasons in affirming a grant of summary judgment. This Court may affirm on grounds other than those relied upon by the district court when the record contains an adequate and independent basis for that result. Guthrie v. Tifco Indus., 941 F.2d 374, 379 (5th Cir.1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 112 S.Ct. 1267, 117 L.Ed.2d 495 (1992); Schuster v. Martin, 861 F.2d 1369, 1371 (5th Cir.1988).
II. Substantive Law
The relevant articles of the Louisiana Civil Code are:
A consistent line of jurisprudence in Louisiana, as well as federal cases applying Louisiana law, holds that an employment contract for an indefinite term is terminable at the will of either party. See Brannan v. Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., 526 So.2d 1101, 1103 (La.1988); Overman v. Fluor Constructors, Inc., 797 F.2d 217 (5th Cir.1986).
Chauvin contends that he was unjustly terminated in March 1991. He argues that at various points in his employment relationship with Tandy, he formed an employment contract for a definite term whereby he could be terminated only for cause and with notice. We reject these contentions and conclude that Chauvin was at all times an at will employee subject to termination without cause, and that even if his employment were subject to a certain term, that as a matter of law, he was terminated for cause and with notice.
Chauvin argues that his initial employment with Tandy was a contract of employment for an indefinite period, which could not be terminated without just cause and without reasonable notice.
Chauvin further argues that in 1988, when he agreed to become a senior manager, an employment contract was formed for an indefinite period under which he could only be terminated for cause and after written notice. Again he claims that by giving a consideration, a contract was formed. We reject, for the reasons stated above, that his contributions to the plan constituted consideration sufficient to form a contract under Louisiana law. Additionally, although the Senior Manager Program Pay Plan sets forth termination procedures, the first paragraph of the document states
Therefore, we conclude that participation in the Senior Manager Program did not change the at will status of Chauvin's employment with Tandy.
Chauvin also alleges that in September 1988, he entered into a verbal two year employment contract with Tandy. He bases this contention on a telephone conversation with Defendant Nichols discussing his transfer to the Virgin Islands and Nichols' notes of this conversation. Whether a two year contract ever existed is moot because at the time of Chauvin's discharge, the two year time period covered by this alleged contract had elapsed.
In May 1990, Chauvin and Nichols again discussed Chauvin's tenure in the Virgin Island. Chauvin contends that it was agreed to extend his stay for one additional year. He argues that this one year extension constituted an oral contract for a certain term. Nichols admits having this discussion with Chauvin, but contends that the extent of Chauvin's stay was not agreed upon. It was during this alleged additional year that Chauvin was discharged.
We agree with Chauvin that a fact issue exists as to whether the parties agreed to extend Chauvin's employment in the Virgin Islands for an additional year. We find, however, that even if a one year
Although the parties characterize the termination differently,
We also hold that Chauvin received notice as required by La.Civ.Code Ann. art. 2024 when he was reprimanded for not promptly depositing funds. He received notice again when the investigators came out to determine if there had been violations of company policy, and finally when he was suspended without pay prior to his termination. See Carlson v. Superior Supply Co., 536 So.2d 444 (La.Ct.App. 1988), cert. denied, 537 So.2d 210 (La.1989) (Memo cancelling employment contracts two years prior to termination was reasonable notice.)
Finally, because we find that Chauvin was terminated for cause, we conclude that his other causes of action are meritless. For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the district court is