Workers in California have specific rights that protect them from getting fired or being punished for asserting certain rights against discrimination or unsafe conditions. If you lost your job because you stood up to your employer, or your work conditions have changed as a result, you can take legal action.
When someone loses their position in a way which violates employment law, they may struggle to move forward in life, regardless of their circumstances. From financial problems to a shattered career, this is a matter that must be taken seriously. For some people, however, wrongful termination can be especially challenging. Consider someone who is pregnant and finds out that their job has been brought to an end as a result of their pregnancy, even though they are fully qualified to carry out their job duties. This is just one example of the challenges some people face in the workplace.
Most workers in California depend on their paychecks to pay for living expenses and other bills. Many workers are considered to be at-will employees, which means they can be terminated for any reason at any time. If you have lost your job, and you were not at fault for the termination, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. This money is available for a certain amount of time to help you stay afloat while you look for different employment.
Employees in California are protected from unsafe work environments by both state and federal laws. If an employer takes action against an employee who reports unsafe conditions, the employee has the right to fight back.
You may be quite familiar with the concept of at-will employment, in which either an employer or employee may terminate employment at any time, for any reason and without prior notice. You may also be aware that California is an at-will state, but one with strong protections for public and private employees under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. So how does the law apply to wrongful termination cases, when at-will employment seems to allow employers to fire for discriminatory reasons?
You have likely heard of at-will employment laws, or laws that allow employers to terminate employees at will at any time and for any reason without opening themselves to legal retaliation, even if that does not protect them from suits for discrimination or other acts of wrongful termination. But does the at-will clause also protect an employee and allow them to leave an employer at any time and for any reason?
While facing the possible of wrongful termination in any state is a difficult matter, the state of California takes a significantly different approach to monitoring and enforcement of the typical at-will employment clauses employed by most states. While there exists overarching federal law regarding employee termination, employee protections, and at-will employment, California's special cases have gained it the reputation of one of the most employee-friendly states in the United States.
Employers in California are required by law to provide employees with safe working conditions. Workers who recognize hazardous conditions can report them to regulatory agencies, which also protect them from retaliation from their employer for doing so.
Many workers in California assume when they are hired that they are guaranteed employment unless they screw up or do something wrong to justify being terminated. The truth is the majority of employees in the state are hired on an at-will basis, which means the employer can terminate employment at any time and for any reason.
If your employer recently fired you in a way that violated employment law, you could be facing all sorts of different problems. However, it is paramount for you to take action right away if your rights were trampled on. Our law firm recognizes the multitude of challenges that workers in Santa Barbara and other parts of California may have to endure following a wrongful termination and we believe that people in this position deserve justice.