As an employee in California, you should know about the at-will employment laws in place. The at-will employment laws are designed to allow employers to fire an employee for any reason at any time. Similarly, they allow an employee to quit his or her job without reason and without giving advanced notice.
However, many employees take the wording of this law to heart. While at-will employment allows an employer to fire someone for any reason, there are protections available in the event an employer tries to fire someone for an illegal reason.
If your employer tries to fire you for an illegal reason, you may have the right to take legal action and file a wrongful termination case. Our team is here to help you understand your rights should this situation ever arise and provide legal guidance when you need it most.
At-Will Employment Does Not Excuse Wrongful Termination
Just because the state has at-will employment laws, the federal employment laws and acts in place prevent employers from firing you based on specific characteristics or because of an illegal reason. Here are some of the situations that may warrant a wrongful termination lawsuit:
- Breach of contract: In the event your employer has a contract that dictates how and when they can fire you as an employee, you may protect yourself. The employer may breach the contract by terminating your employment, and if they do, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
- Discrimination: California has protected classes, such as race, color, religion, marital status, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and age. As such, an employer cannot fire you for any of these reasons (e.g., an employer can’t fire you for being over the age of 40).
- Refusal to perform an illegal or unsafe act: If your employer is asking you to do something for your job that is illegal, unethical, or unsafe, you have the right to refuse that action. Your employer cannot fire you for this reason, and they may be subject to additional legal action.
- Retaliation: You may suspect your employer of wrongdoing—such as unethical behavior or illegally withholding pay—and report them to the corresponding agency. If your employer finds out it was you and tries to fire you, this act is a wrongful termination.
Your Legal Rights to File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
If you believe your boss wrongfully terminated your employment, you may have the right to take legal action. Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit can help you hold your employer accountable, and you may seek compensation for the following:
- Lost income and potentially lost future wages
- Benefits you may lose
- Legal fees
When employers abuse their power and the at-will employment laws, employees deserve the right to take action. Employees utilize the at-will laws by firing employees without providing notice, and they feel they don’t have to have a reason. Proving that an illegal reason exists can be difficult to do on your own, so it’s important to obtain legal counsel who knows how to help in your time of need.
At Aegis Law Firm, we work diligently to help you feel confident in a wrongful termination lawsuit. We’ll protect your rights at all times, going above and beyond to pursue compensation when you need it most and hold your employer accountable. Our Orange County employment attorneys are here for you throughout the process. Trust in us to be your voice.
We’re ready to help you discuss your case. Call our firm today at (800) 543-4829 and let us be your trusted partners throughout complex legal matters. We offer free consultations so you can get the answers you need!