Updated: Apr 21
Crucial Considerations In California Wrongful Termination Claims
Employment law claims are dependent on the state. Hence, specific labor laws affect your rights and legal options in California. So, here are the most essential elements of employment law that our prescreened California Employment Attorneys work with.
California is an "At-Will" State
Employment rules in California are "at-will." Basically, employers can fire an employee at any time, for nearly any reason or no reason at all.
However, this still does not mean that an employer can terminate someone for discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. It is most likely wrongful termination if the termination violates the employee's civil or employment rights.
So, even if you're an at-will employee, you might still have enough grounds to hire a California Employment Attorney to help you.
You Must Work for Someone
To file a wrongful termination claim in California, you must be an employee, not an independent contractor, in your place of business. This is because you work for yourself as an independent contractor, not an employee or a customer.
Most of the time, the law considers someone to be an employee if they work under the direction and control of an employer. However, an employer may misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid liability.
If you believe this happened to you at work, you may still be able to sue your employer with the assistance of an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles.
Employers Cannot Fire You For Illegal Reasons
Despite the flexibility of California's at-will employment regulations, some instances where firing an employee is illegal.
This includes terminating someone because of their race, gender, sex, disability, religion, or political affiliation, among other protected classes. Wrongful termination includes:
Firing a worker for seeking time off.
Taking medical leave.
Taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
In California, firing someone for reporting a law violation or for reasons against public policy is also considered wrongful termination.
Wrongful Termination Could Be Caused By Contract Breach
Employees are not always covered by California's at-will legislation. There exist contracts between employers and employees that may limit the employer's authority to fire a worker at any time.
Employees might be able to claim wrongful termination in these situations if the employer had no reason to fire them. Contractual employees can be fired for various reasons, including willful breach of contract, frequent neglect of employment obligations, or inability to perform duties. State laws recognize both verbal and written contracts.