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. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination can 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 particular race, nationality, religion or gender. Oakland employers are further prohibited from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Additionally, 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 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?
Local Oakland, California lawyers can properly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.