The employment law attorneys at Rounds & Sutter represent workers throughout Southern California who have lost their job due to discrimination, retaliation, or some other type of wrongful discharge. We help employees recover their lost jobs, lost wages and other compensation necessary to restore them to their previous position.
California is an At-Will Employment state, except when it isn’t
Employment at-will is the general rule in California. This means that an employee can quit at any time without giving a reason, and an employee can also be fired at any time, whether it is for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. There are, however, important exceptions to at-will employment, and termination under certain circumstances may be a wrongful discharge that gives a former employee the right to sue.
The biggest exception to at-will employment is employment which is governed by an employment contract. Where a written contract states the duration of employment for a particular period of time, or lists causes for termination, or states that employee will only be fired “for cause” or “for good cause,” then the employer is bound to follow the contract, and a termination in violation of the contract may be a wrongful termination or breach of contract. It is also important to note that not all contracts are written, and not all contracts look expressly like contracts. Oral promises may be made, or assurances may be given in an employee handbook or policy manual, and these promises and assurances may convert the employment relationship from at-will to one that is contractual in nature.
Another exception to the “good, bad or no reason” rule of at-will employment is that an employee may not be fired for an illegal reason. For instance, an employee may not be fired because of his or her race, religion, gender, age or other characteristic which makes the employee protected by law from unlawful employment discrimination.
Another type of wrongful termination involves retaliatory discharge. One cannot be fired for reporting unsafe conditions or illegal activity at the workplace (whistleblowing) or for refusing to engage in an illegal act. Likewise, a worker cannot be fired for engaging in other activity protected by law, such as being absent from work due to military service or jury duty, engaging in concerted activity such as belonging to a labor union, or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In all of these situations, a worker who is wrongfully discharged may sue to be reinstated to employment and for back pay, including interest, as well as other legal damages.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation with Your Southern California Wrongful Termination Claim
Together, the lawyers at Rounds & Sutter have decades of experience helping individuals in Southern California solve difficult problems and seek the protection and aid afforded to them by the law. If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated from your employment, contact Rounds & Sutter for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced employment law attorney.