Wrongful termination under California law largely depends on the terms of your employment agreement, and sometimes people think that they have been wrongfully terminated because their termination seems unfair, or perhaps they felt forced to quit. However, there are limited legal protections for employees against seemingly unfair termination in California. Part of the problem is that employees take firings and terminations personally, and feel emotionally charged about them. The other part of the problem is that in order for wrongful termination to be illegal, employees must be terminated in a way that violates state and/or federal laws, which provide limited protection under certain conditions.
But most employment arrangements are “at will,” meaning that the employer or the employee may walk away from the employment arrangement at any time; the employment is considered to be voluntary and indefinite and may be terminated at any time by either the employer or the employee. California is a presumed “at-will” employment state, meaning that if there is no employment agreement stating otherwise, the employment arrangement is an “at-will” employment by default and either the employer or the employee may cut ties at any point in time. More pressingly, employers may terminate “at-will” employees even if their work performance is satisfactory.
Most wrongful termination cases are successful when the employee’s employment agreement specifically provides that employment will last a set duration of time, and yet the employer terminated the employee regardless of the terms of the agreement. These are more contractor-type employment agreements that present both parties with a higher burden in order to terminate the employment relationship prematurely. Elements of contract law give the contractor slightly more protection against wrongful termination than “at-will” employees.
Arbitrating Employment Termination Disputes
As an alternative to legal proceedings against your employer, you might be able to engage your employer in arbitration, which means you, your attorney and the employer settle the dispute out of court. Sometimes your employment agreement specifies that any employment dispute must be arbitrated, or that arbitration is the employee’s only recourse in the event that there is an employment termination dispute. Arbitration for these matters should comply with the rules and procedural guidelines set out in the National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes. However, if arbitration fails to bear fruit, you may ultimately end up in court, despite your best efforts to arbitrate.
Contacting a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorney
When you are concerned with your state of employment, or have recently been unfairly fired, it can make for a troubling and stressful situation. It does not make matters any easier that the wrongful termination laws in California require legal interpretation that only a qualified wrongful termination attorney can help you with. If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer and believe that you have a case, you need a wrongful termination lawyer standing at your back, fighting for your employment rights. Please contact the seasoned professionals at the Law Offices of Kenechi R. Agu.