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Exemptions To At-Will Employee Termination In Santa Monica

Updated: 7 days ago

At-Will Employment Exceptions In Santa Monica, CA


An employer is free to terminate employees whenever and for any reason under at will employment in California. Relevant laws also permit employees to quit their jobs anytime and without cause or notice.


The California Labor Code states that parties may end unfixed-term employment by providing the other party notice. However, an "at-will" employment arrangement gives workers no legal rights or protections, which means they can technically be fired at any time, even for no reason.


The "at-will" employment contract contains several restrictions against wrongful termination. In addition, the presumption of at-will employment may be challenged by verbal agreement, statutory exemptions, or public policy.


In other words, even though you work in Santa Monica at your own will, you cannot be terminated for unethical grounds. Let's examine the Californian exceptions to the at-will employment policy as prescreened California employment lawyers handle them.


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The exceptions relate to dismissals that, despite appearing to follow the at-will employment philosophy, have been determined by the California legislature or courts to be fundamentally unfair.

You can protect your rights if you experience these infractions by hiring a prescreened Santa Monica Labor Law Attorney to assist you in filing claims.


The three exemptions to at will employment in California are as follows:

Exemption for Public Policy Reasons

In states that recognize this exception, employers cannot discharge workers if the cause for the termination violates a recognized public policy. For instance, it is against accepted public policy for a manager to dismiss a worker for filing a workers' compensation claim.


It would be unlawful to fire an employee based on a protected class, according to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The FEHA shields workers against harassment, retaliation, and discrimination in all conditions and situations of employment based on any of the following protected categories:

The FEHA forbids retaliation for making a complaint, supporting someone else in making a complaint, or objecting to any behavior at work that might be construed as a breach of the FEHA.


Finally, this exception would not apply if an employer fired an employee for refusing to take part in illegal activity that the employer commanded. Contact a reputable Santa Monica employment law attorney if you've been fired unfairly or faced discrimination at work.


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Exceptions On An Implied Contract


Because employers cannot terminate employees with whom they have an implied contract, implied contracts have the potential to change the nature of at-will employment. Therefore, the employee assumes he cannot be fired because of implied agreements established by the employer and the employee's actions and statements.


The written or verbal declarations typically address job security and the steps to take if an employee is subjected to punitive measures (such as discipline or termination). These may be found in a procedure, handbook, or manual for employees.

Consult your prescreened Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Santa Monica if you need help determining your legal bases for making claims.

Exceptions Under Good Faith and Fair Dealing


This only applies if a contract in some shape or form specifies that your employer has the authority to fire you. Employees, for instance, are safeguarded by the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, which acknowledges that an employer cannot discharge an employee to avoid fulfilling their obligations, such as by terminating your employment to deny you benefits to which you would otherwise be entitled under your employment contract.


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