California is an “at-will” state. This means that employers are not required to justify their decision for terminating an employee and may do so with notice. Employees are also free to leave their place of employment at any time. As stated in California’s legal code, “An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other.” However, there are exceptions to this rule!
There are several ways that employers and employees can override at-will employments.
Exceptions to at-will employment include:
Let’s focus on the last point to determine what kind of employer actions override the employment-at-will status.
Specific employer actions may override an employee’s employment-at-will status. In other words, an employer cannot break the law when firing an at-will employee.
Employers perform unlawful terminations when they fire employees for the following reasons:
As you can see, at-will employment is not as black-and-white as many people believe. Therefore, if you or a loved one is fired under suspect conditions, it’s wise to talk to an employment law attorney about your case.
Aegis Law Firm can review the facts of your termination to determine if foul play was involved. If we believe that your employer acted negligently, we can fight to hold them accountable for their unlawful actions.