If you work in California, you may have heard the term “employment-at-will” before, but you may not know what it means. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Los Angeles County employment lawyer from RD Law Group to learn more about what an employment-at-will state is, and how it can affect your rights as an employee. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What is employment-at-will?
Employment-at-will essentially means that an employer or an employee can end the working relationship at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice. This means that your employer can fire you for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it is not illegal. It also means that you can lawfully quit your job at any time, without giving any notice or reason.
Employment-at-will is the default rule in California, unless there is a specific agreement that states otherwise. For example, some employees may have written contracts that require “good cause” for termination, or union members may have collective bargaining agreements that protect them from arbitrary dismissal.
What are the exceptions to employment-at-will?
Even though employment-at-will gives employers a lot of flexibility to fire employees, there are some important limitations that protect employees from unlawful termination. Among others, these include:
- Discrimination: Employers cannot fire employees based on their race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, or any other protected characteristic under federal or state law.
- Retaliation: Employers cannot fire employees for exercising their legal rights or reporting violations of the law. For example, if a whistleblower reports an incident of embezzlement on the part of a company’s higher-ups and is fired as a result, he or she will likely have a valid wrongful termination claim.
If you believe your position was terminated due to any of the aforementioned reasons, there is a strong chance you’ll have a valid claim against your employer. However, you should not pursue such a claim without a competent Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer in your corner.
How can you prove wrongful termination?
Proving wrongful termination can be tricky, especially if the employer does not give a reason for firing the employee. However, there are some ways to gather evidence and support your case, including the following:
- Documenting everything: Keep copies of your employment contract, performance reviews, pay stubs, texts, and any other documents that relate to your job and termination. Write down the dates, times, names, and details of any incidents that may show discrimination, retaliation, or public policy violation.
- Gathering witness testimony: Talk to your co-workers, managers, clients, or anyone else who may have witnessed or heard about your termination. Ask them if they can provide statements or testify on your behalf.
- Hiring a lawyer: A lawyer can help you evaluate your situation and advise you on your legal options. A lawyer can also help you negotiate with your employer or file a lawsuit if necessary.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer from RD Law Group as soon as possible. We are here to fight for the justice you deserve.