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?
In the state of California, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are barred from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. San Jose 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. Lastly, employers are prevented from terminating 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?
Attorneys in San Jose, California may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in gathering the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.