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Former employee suing Apple, says Steve Jobs promised him lifelong employment

There's really no place where you can be guaranteed lifelong employment these days, Apple included. But, it still angered former employee Wayne Goodrich, who had worked for Apple since 1998 and dismissed in December for "business reasons."

Goodrich has turned around and sued Apple, Bloomberg News reports, saying that Steve Jobs promised him a job for life during a meeting in 2005 and reaffirmed in 2010. "This express promise by Steve Jobs was consistent with a practice that Steve Jobs had ... of promising job security to certain key employees who worked directly with him for many years," Goodrich said in his complaint.

Goodrich was a presentation editor and the architect behind new product releases -- including the iPhone and iPad, he said. He also claimed he was essential in bringing Siri to the company. Goodrich is seeking damages for lost wages, stock, benefits and emotional distress.

California is an at-will employment state, meaning employment can be terminated at any time for any reason unless it falls under exceptons defined by court or public policy. One of these exceptions is an implied in-fact contract. Charles J. Muhl, a Chicago attorney, explains that this is where there's an understanding that a contract exists between the employee and the employer, even though a formal contract wasn't signed.

The burden of proof falls on Goodrich since Jobs passed away in October 2011. We'll find out more if the case goes to trial.

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