This phrase “for cause,” as used in this connection, means for reasons which the law and sound public policy recognize as sufficient warrant for removal, that is “legal cause,” and not merely a cause which the appointing power, in the exercise of discretion, may deem sufficient . It follows, inevitably, that when a statute provides for an appointment for a definite term of office, without provision otherwise, or provides for removal “for cause,” without qualification, removal may be effected only after notice has been given to the officer of the charges made against him and he has been given an opportunity to be heard in his defense. The rigorous application of the rule can only be evaded in such cases by an express grant of power to remove at will. State ex rel. Nagle v. Sullivan, 98 Mont. 425 (1935).
The phrases “for cause,” “for just cause” and “for good cause” “have been found to be difficult to define with precision and to be largely relative in their connotation, depending upon the particular circumstances of each case.” R.J. Cardinal Co. v. Ritchie, 218 Cal. App. 2d 124, 144 (1963).
Likewise the phrase “for cause” in language indicating that a participant terminated for cause is ineligible to receive a bonus is not defined in the AIP. Although the meaning of the term is somewhat elusive, the Supreme Court has held that “good or just cause … is not: reasons that are ‘ “trivial, capricious, unrelated to business needs or goals, or pretextual.” Cotran v. Rollins Hudig Hall Internat., Inc., 17 Cal.4th 93, 96 (1998).