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Is California an At-Will State?

by Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP
January 20, 2023
Employment Law

What You Need to Know About California Termination Laws

Many people assume that in California you cannot be fired unless your employer has just cause. The truth is that California is an “at-will” state, meaning that an employer has the right to terminate an employee at any time without cause. While there are exceptions, it is important to understand how at-will employment works and your rights under the law.

At Levin & Nalbandyan we represent people who have been wrongfully terminated from their employment in Los Angeles. We fight for workers who have been unlawfully fired or lost their jobs due to fraud or discrimination. If you were illegally terminated from your job, contact our office at (213) 232-4848  for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

What is the California Law Regarding At-Will Employment?

According to Section 2922 of the California Labor Code, employment “may be terminated at the will of either party.” Under this law, an employee or employer can terminate employment at any time and for any reason.

The code specifies, however, that it applies to employment with no specified term. A specified term is defined as employment for at least one month. 

The vast majority of jobs are presumed to fall under at-will employment. Additionally, many employers now directly specify it in their employment contracts. 

What Are the Exceptions to At-Will Employment?

There are limited exceptions to the general rule of at-will employment in California. For instance, it could be stated in your employment contract or could be agreed upon between you and your employer.

Common exceptions to the at-will employment rule include:

  • Agreement between the parties (implied contract);
  • The employment contract states you can only be terminated for “good cause;”
  • Violation of public policy;
  • Violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; or
  • Unlawful purposes (discrimination, retaliation, fraud).

Whether you had an agreement with your employer that you could only be fired for good cause or you were the subject of discrimination, you should always speak to an attorney about unlawful termination. Depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation.

When Should I Hire an Attorney?

Without the help of an attorney, you may not receive the recovery you deserve if you were unlawfully terminated. An employment law attorney can help you understand your rights and determine the best course of legal action to ensure that you get a fair outcome in your case.

It is important to act quickly, as you may only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination. At Levin & Nalbandyan, we understand how difficult it can be to come forward. We are here to help. 

Wrongfully Terminated? Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation.

Were you wrongfully terminated from your job in Los Angeles? Contact our office at (213) 232-4848  to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. All wrongful termination case evaluations are confidential. Call our office now to speak directly with an attorney about your case. 

If you were illegally fired from your position you might be able to collect compensation. Unlawful termination is widespread and should be stopped. Get the dedicated advocacy you need to get the results you deserve.

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