In California, most employment is considered "at will". This type of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason. The only basic 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. Therefore, it is crucial that you identify what type of employment arrangement you are involved in. Typically, 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 particular race, religion, gender, or nationality. An employer in Napa also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or prompting an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Furthermore, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Finally, employers are prevented from firing an employee because they have exercised a legal right, performed a legal obligation, or have refused to do something that is illegal.
Do I Need a California Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Napa, California attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.