In California, most employment is considered "at will". This form of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any point, for any reason. The only general exception in "at-will" employment arrangements is that the termination may not be done for reasons which violate the law.
Employment that does not fall into the category of "at will" is not subject to the same restrictions. Thus, it is essential that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. Generally, if your employment arrangement was for a set term, it is not "at will", and the employment can only be terminated according to procedure contained in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in California?
Regarding terminating a California employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a certain race, religion, gender, or nationality. Employers in Marin County may also not terminate at-will employees as an act of retaliation if they have filed a legal discrimination claim or initiated an investigation into discrimination.
Furthermore, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers may not terminate workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a California Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Marin County, California may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in preparing the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.