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At-will employment and wrongful termination

Today’s ever-changing economic conditions mean that many San Diego workers labor under a climate of uncertainty. In California and 48 other states, employment is presumed to be “at-will.” Essentially, employment at will means that an employer can technically fire someone for any reason, so long as that reason is not discriminatory, a form of retaliation or in violation of clear public policy.

Not surprisingly, workers tend to have numerous questions about at-will termination. What is illegal discrimination as it relates to wrongful termination? What constitutes workplace retaliation? How clear and explicit must public policy be to form an exception to at-will termination? The answers to these and many more questions on this complex topic may be obtained by speaking with a California employment law attorney.

Being a victim of wrongful dismissal can take an enormous toll on a person. In addition to the job loss and financial uncertainty, a wrongfully-terminated person can also experience much confusion and frustration as to their legal rights. Even if employment is at will, wrongful termination can still occur under many different scenarios. Employers may even imply that at-will employment means they can terminate a worker for any reason at all, when in reality there are many exceptions to at-will termination.

Wrongful termination may occur if a firing is in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws or its state and local counterparts. A wrongful dismissal may also occur if the firing is in “bad faith,” done with malice or does not fit a “just cause” standard. These and many other exceptions can be clarified by an attorney who may be able to offer specific strategies for asserting one’s rights in the face of wrongful termination.

Source: FindLaw, “At-will employment and wrongful termination,” accessed Dec. 19, 2016


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