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. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in California?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a California employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a certain race, nationality, religion or gender. Novato employers are further barred from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of 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. Finally, employers cannot terminate employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a California Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Novato, California lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the necessary information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.