A Quick Guide To At-Will Employment In Glendale, California
The employee's employment status is "at will," which implies the employer has the legal authority to fire an employee at any time, for any reason, without cause or warning.
So yes, if you're working at will, you can be fired for no reason.
However, this doesn't mean you can be fired for illegal reasons (under California Labor Laws). If they fire you for any unlawful reasons listed above, it is deemed Wrongful Termination.
What Is At-Will Employment and How Does It Work?
If your employer clearly declares in an employment contract that it will only fire you for a good reason or if it provides a list of justifications for terminating an employee, the law presumes you are employed at will.
You are legally protected against being dismissed if you sign a contract stating that your company will only fire you for a good reason. However, if your contract does not provide that you are entitled to these benefits, the law assumes that you are an independent contractor.
Local and federal regulations restrict specific justifications for firing employees, regardless of whether they are employed at will. Here are some examples of illegal reasons for termination:
You cannot be fired due to your age, race, color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or other factors.
They cannot fire you in retaliation if you report illegal activity, discrimination, harassment, or health and food violations.
They can't fire you because you took sick or family leave, served in the military, sat on a jury, or voted.
It would be called "wrongful termination" if you were fired for one of these reasons. If you've had this happen to you in California, your employee rights (even if you're an at-will employee) have been violated. To better understand your legal alternatives, you should speak with a Glendale Wrongful Termination Lawyer in California.
What Does This Mean For Employers?
The California Labor Code was created to protect and promote the rights of employees. However, the Code also includes some state statutes that provide important employer protections.
According to the California Labor Code, a job with no defined end date can be terminated at any time by either party on notice to the other. "Work for a certain period of time" is one that lasts more than a month.
This means that the law presumes that an employment relationship between a California employer and an employee is at-will by default. This enables either partner to terminate the work connection at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
At-will employment allows easy, no-strings-attached ways to leave a job. This can be beneficial to an employee.
However, this also means that an employer has the same power to fire an employee. However, at-will employment laws do not give employees the same level of protection as most of California's labor laws.
That said, if you feel like you've been fired for illegal reasons, contact a Glendale Labor Law Attorney to help you sort your employment claim.
Why Does At-Will Employment Favor The Employer?
At-will employment favors the employer's interests because:
It allows them to fire at-will employees for whatever reason (even for no reason at all)
Employers are relieved of a significant legal burden when terminating at-will employees because they do not have to prove cause.
An employee fired without cause cannot sue for breach of an implied contract because of the at-will employment system.
While companies can fire at-will employees for any reason (or no reason at all), they must still obey all anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws.
This also means that employers are legally obligated to adhere to labor laws by compensating earned overtime, unused vacation leave, and other employment benefits.
That said, just because you are an at-will employee who works at your boss' discretion doesn't mean you can't sue for unpaid wages, illegal employment practices, and labor law violations. To get advice on your unique Employment Law concerns, contact a Glendale Labor Lawyer.
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