Employment relationships can be complex, especially when it comes to understanding the intricacies of at-will employment and wrongful termination. In Southern California, employees need to be aware of their rights and protections under these concepts.

This blog will delve into what at-will employment means, what constitutes wrongful termination, and how PLBH can assist you if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 to get started.

What is At-Will Employment?

Definition of At-Will Employment

At-will employment means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, as long as the reason is not illegal. Similarly, employees are free to leave their job at any time without reason or notice.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment

Despite the broad latitude of at-will employment, there are important exceptions where termination would be considered illegal:

  • Public Policy Violations: Termination for reasons that violate public policy, such as firing an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Implied Contracts: Termination that violates an implied contract, such as a verbal promise of continued employment.
  • Covenant of Good Faith: Termination that breaches the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, meaning the termination was done in bad faith.

Understanding Wrongful Termination

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired in violation of their legal rights. Key examples include:

  • Discrimination: Firing an employee based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics.
  • Retaliation: Terminating an employee for exercising their legal rights, such as whistleblowing or taking family or medical leave.
  • Breach of Contract: Firing an employee in violation of an employment contract or implied promise.

Recognizing Wrongful Termination

Signs that you may have been wrongfully terminated include:

  • Sudden negative performance reviews after engaging in protected activities
  • Termination shortly after filing a complaint or exercising legal rights
  • Inconsistent reasons given for the termination

Steps to Take if You Believe You Were Wrongfully Terminated

Document Everything

Maintaining thorough documentation is crucial. Important records to keep include:

  • Termination Notice: Any written notice or communication regarding your termination.
  • Performance Reviews: Records of your performance reviews and any disciplinary actions.
  • Correspondence: Emails, memos, or other communications that may support your claim.

Report the Termination

  • Internal Reporting: If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, report the issue to your former employer’s HR department or a company representative.
  • External Reporting: File a complaint with relevant agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Seek Legal Assistance

Consulting with an experienced employment law attorney at PLBH is essential. Our attorneys can help you understand your rights and the best course of action. Services we provide include:

  • Case Evaluation: Reviewing your situation and determining if you have a valid wrongful termination claim.
  • Filing Complaints: Assisting with the preparation and submission of complaints to appropriate agencies.
  • Legal Representation: Representing you in negotiations, mediations, or court proceedings.

How PLBH Can Support You

Expert Legal Guidance

At PLBH, we are committed to protecting your employment rights and ensuring fair treatment. Our team offers:

  • Personalized Advice: Tailored legal advice based on your unique circumstances.
  • Aggressive Advocacy: Strong representation to defend your rights and pursue justice.
  • Ongoing Support: Continuous support and updates throughout your case.

Why Choose PLBH?

  • Experience: Our attorneys have extensive experience handling wrongful termination cases.
  • Dedication: We are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • Proven Results: Our track record demonstrates our ability to successfully resolve employment disputes.

Moving Forward After Wrongful Termination

Experiencing wrongful termination can be distressing, but understanding your rights and taking action is crucial. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 for a consultation. Our dedicated team is here to help you navigate this challenging time and secure the justice you deserve.