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Labor Law Exemptions To At-Will Employment In West Covina

California At-Will Employees Can Still Sue Their Employers

At-will employment means an employer can fire an employee at any time and for any cause. Employees can also leave a company without explanation or warning in at-will employment laws.


According to the California Labor Code, employment with no fixed duration may be terminated at any party's whim by giving the other notice. A job for a specific term lasts longer than one month. Employees who work in an "at-will" employment agreement have no legal rights or protections.


The "at-will" employment contract has various caveats that prevent employees from being wrongly terminated or terminated for illegal reasons. By verbal agreement, statutory exclusions, or public policy, the assumption of at-will employment can be overturned.


In other words, just because you're working at will in West Covina doesn't mean you can be fired for illegal reasons. Let's look at the exceptions to at-will employment in California, as they are handled and managed by prescreened California Employment Lawyers.


california at will employment

The exceptions apply to terminations that, while nominally complying with the at-will employment theory, have been ruled intrinsically unjust by the California legislature or courts.

If you experience any of these violations, you can assert your rights by bringing in a prescreened West Covina Labor Law Attorney to help you file claims.


The following are the three exceptions to at-will employment:

Exemption For Reasons Of Public Policy

Employers can't fire employees if their reason for termination breaches a well-established public policy in states that recognize this exception. For example, a boss cannot fire an employee for submitting a workers' compensation claim because it is a recognized public policy.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it would be illegal to fire an employee based on a protected class (FEHA). In all terms and circumstances of employment, the FEHA protects employees from discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on the basis of any of the following protected categories:

  1. Disability discrimination

  2. Pregnancy discrimination

  3. Retaliation against employees

  4. Marital status discrimination

  5. Sexual harassment in the workplace

  6. FMLA discrimination

  7. LGTBQ discrimination

  8. Religious beliefs discrimination

  9. Age discrimination

  10. Race discrimination

  11. Gender discrimination

  12. Whistleblower retaliation

  13. Discrimination based on genetic information

  14. National origin discrimination

Retaliation is also prohibited under the FEHA for filing a complaint, supporting someone in filing a complaint, or opposing any activity in the workplace that would be considered a violation of the FEHA.

Finally, firing an employee for refusing to participate in illegal conduct that the employer ordered would fall under this exception. In the event of getting wrongfully fired or experiencing workplace discrimination, contact a trusted Employment Law Attorney in West Covina.


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Exception For Reasons Of An Implied Contract

Implied contracts can alter the nature of at-will employment because employers cannot fire employees who have formed an implied contract with them. Based on the employer's and employee's behaviors and remarks, an implied contract is created that leads the employee to assume he cannot be fired at will.


The oral or written statements generally concern job security and the procedures followed if the employee is subjected to adverse measures (such as discipline or termination). These representations can be found in an employee manual, process, or handbook, or they can be presented verbally or in other works.


If you're having trouble identifying your grounds to file claims, consult your prescreened California Employment Attorney.

Exception For Reasons Of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Agreement


This applies only if there is some form of the contract governing your employer's right to fire you. For example, employees are protected by the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing because it recognizes that an employer cannot fire an employee to avoid performing their duties, such as firing you to prevent you from receiving benefits to which you would otherwise be entitled under your employment agreement.


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