Doesn’t At-Will Employment Prevent Wrongful Termination Claims?
Because either party can terminate employment for any reason at all in an at-will employment relationship, many employers may believe that termination in those instances is immune from a wrongful termination claim. That is not the case.
Employers not governed by a specific statute or union contract are free to operate on an at-will basis, but in today’s world, it is hard to establish an orderly workplace while remaining at-will.
Employers often establish rules for the workplace that give employees guidance on everything from clothing to behavior. They also have a natural tendency to either state or demonstrate in action what happens when violations of standards occur. If not handled correctly, this can be the beginning of the end for treatment of employees on an at-will basis.
All types of employment relationships can fall prey to allegations of wrongful termination. Thus, while there is no such thing as wrongful termination under the at-will employment in theory, in reality, California law allows even at-will employees claims for wrongful termination in certain circumstances. For example, at-will employees may assert wrongful termination claims where the employment violates established law or public policy.
Employers that seek only at-will employment relationships need regular guidance from an experienced California employer attorney.
How a California Wrongful Termination Defense Attorney Helps Employers Do Things Right
Following and understanding the law on employment relationships is the first step for employers to avoid wrongful termination claims in California. The next step is to establish and follow wrongful termination defense best practices.
Employers need guidance from a California employer defense lawyer to accurately identify the nature of the employment relationship. As noted above, sometimes a policy, employee handbook or behavior can create an implied contract of employment. An employer-side attorney can help identify the nature of employment relationships as well as the slippery slope of behaviors that can convert at-will employment into employment by implied contract with heightened termination restrictions.
Once the employer has accurately identified the nature of the employment relationships, it must align its treatment of employees with the relationship that exists. That means following the employment handbook, the written or oral policies, and the practices that have been followed in the past.
Choose Susan A. Rodriguez as Your California Wrongful Termination Defense Attorney
One of the best things an employer can do is to engage the services of the right California wrongful termination defense attorney on the front end. At the Law Offices of Susan A. Rodriguez, APC, we have three decades of experience defending wrongful termination cases and helping employers position themselves to avoid such cases. Contact us today by calling (213) 943-1323 or by navigating to our contact page online to schedule an appointment.