California Law on Unlawful Termination
Globalization has impacted the workplace in more ways than one can count. Many large companies operate throughout different states, and some even do business in other countries. Modern financial and communication systems have made it easier for companies to do business in different parts of the country, and even the worlds. Regrettably many companies that go across state lines or even outside of their own borders, forget or overlook the fact that each jurisdiction has its own laws which must be observed. Foreign companies seeking to do business in California would be well advised to consult an employment lawyer in California to guide them through the laws and regulations that apply to all employers in California. The employment relationship between employers and employers in California is governed by California law which spells out what employers in California may or may not do. Whether or not any particular termination is wrongful, therefore starts with a review of what the law prohibits. Similar to employers wishing to limit their exposure, employees considering a lawsuit because they were fired would benefit from a basic understanding of the law. Unlawful termination attorneys can provide guidance to employers and employees alike.
What is Unlawful Termination in California?
Although employment contracts are generally terminable at will California courts recognize a narrow exception to this rule. An employer’s traditional broad authority to discharge an at-will employee may be limited by considerations of public policy. While an at-will employee may be terminated for no reason, or for an arbitrary or irrational reason, there can be no right to terminate for an unlawful reason or a purpose that contravenes fundamental public policy. The employer’s obligation to refrain from discharging an employee in violation of public policy does not depend upon any express or implied promises set forth in the employment contract. Rather, it reflects a duty imposed by law upon all employers. The elements of a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy are (1) an employer-employee relationship, (2) the employer terminated the plaintiff’s employment, (3) the termination was substantially motivated by a violation of public policy, and (4) the discharge caused the plaintiff harm. Unlawful termination attorneys can help analyze the particulars of a given situation and determine whether it constitutes wrongful termination within the meaning of California law.
When Should I Contact an Unlawful Termination Attorney?
When an employee suspects that they may be (or may have been) terminated from their jobs for illegal reasons they should contact unlawful termination attorneys at the earliest opportunity. Even if the employee has not yet been fired, he or she can benefit from such a consultation because the actions taken by the employee in the days leading up to the anticipated termination may potentially avoid that result.
Knowing the law is a critically important part of enforcing your rights. Most unlawful termination attorneys can explain the differences between what is allowed under the law in California, and what isn’t. They can also advise you on steps you can take to increase your chances of success. For example, to build a successful case of unlawful termination, you must have as much evidence as you can legally gather. This can include you getting or keeping a copy of your employment records when possible. This can also include you getting or keeping other evidence that may be relevant, like for example your employee handbook; records of any promotions or reprimands you might have received. This can also include important emails you wrote that relate to your case, or text messages that you sent or received on the company phone. Consulting with unlawful termination attorneys before you get fired, and while you still have access to your records can make or break your case.
What If There Is More than One Reason for the Termination?
In some cases, the evidence may indicate that both legitimate and illegitimate factors contributed to the employment decision. To establish a Tameny claim, plaintiff need only show that an illegitimate factor was “a substantial motivating reason” for the employment decision
If you are unsure about whether or not to pursue a wrongful termination claim, you can benefit from a consultation with unlawful termination attorneys.
Which Unlawful Termination Attorneys Should I Call?
Try to find unlawful termination attorneys with a proven track record, years of experience, and a solid reputation. If you need an unlawful termination attorney and are in Southern California, you are invited to contact one of the experienced unlawful termination attorneys at Akopyan Law.