A Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Southern California employers must understand the employment world in which they operate. That includes an understanding of California labor and employment laws. Whether you have a union shop, prefer working with contract employees or are basically controlled by statutory law, you face an ever-changing set of rules related to employer-employee relationships. A Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer can guide you through the shifting maze of California employment law to help prevent and defend against wrongful termination claims.
What a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Do for Your Business
If there’s one constant in employment law, it’s that California employees enjoy broad protections. The area of wrongful termination is no exception. Employers need a thorough understanding of the law as it relates to the different types of employment relationships and the protections involved in each.
As an employer, you may be surprised by a wrongful termination claim because of a misunderstanding about the nature of the employment relationship. Alternatively, you may unwittingly create the basis for a wrongful termination claim merely by following your own written policies or by your standard, well-meaning treatment of employees. Defending wrongful termination claims in California can be challenging under these circumstances.
Susan A Rodriguez is the Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer employers throughout Southern California trust to help them understand and establish employment relationships. Susan’s experienced team of attorneys helps you create and follow policies to guide your employment relationships and defend against wrongful termination claims.
At-Will Employment in California
In California, most employer/employee relationships are considered to be “at-will.” In this type of employment, either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason or no reason at all.
At-will employment is the default, but the nature of the relationship and rights afforded the parties can be modified by any of the following:
- Statutory law such as the rules that cover government employees.
- Union contracts.
- Specific employment contracts.
- Implied employment contracts.
Most employers don’t know the law may imply an employment contract in circumstances when they think there is no actual employment contract. For example, changes to an employee handbook or the employer’s work behavior over time may be enough to create an implied contractual relationship.
When you need guidance from a Southern California employer defense attorney, turn to Susan A. Rodriguez. She has the experience to help you establish and follow wrongful termination defense best practices while creating and terminating employment relationships.
What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in California?
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and certain federal laws prohibit “wrongful termination” of employees regardless of the nature of the employment relationship. Examples of federal laws that may serve as a foundation for a wrongful termination claim include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
Terminating employment could be grounds for a wrongful termination claim if it fits one of the following categories:
- California or federal laws are violated during the termination.
- The terms of an employment contract are breached.
- The employer’s established employment and termination policies are not followed, or the policies violate the law.
- The firing is based on discriminatory reasons.
- The termination is in retaliation for an employee’s exercise of a protected activity.
- The act violates public policy.
In each of these cases, a wrongful termination claim may be based on protections afforded by statute, case law or a contract between the employer and employee. As new case law is developed and new laws are created, California employment law becomes a more complicated maze to navigate. A seasoned Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer vigilantly follows the latest legal changes to keep employers up-to-date on preventing and defending wrongful termination claims in California.
Doesn’t At-Will Employment Prevent Wrongful Termination Claims?
Because either party can terminate employment for any reason in an at-will employment relationship, many employers believe that termination in those instances is immune from a wrongful termination claim. That may not be 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 workplace rules that set employee standards on everything from clothing to behavior. They also have a natural tendency to either state or demonstrate what happens when violations of standards occur. If not handled correctly, these actions can change the employment relationship, so it is no longer considered an at-will arrangement.
All types of employment relationships can fall prey to wrongful termination allegations. In theory, there is no such thing as wrongful termination under at-will employment. However, in reality, California law allows even at-will employees the right to claim wrongful termination in certain circumstances. For example, at-will employees may assert wrongful termination claims where the termination violates established law or public policy.
Employers that seek only at-will employment relationships need regular guidance from an experienced Southern California employer defense attorney to help protect against unexpected legal claims from former employees.
How a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer Helps Employers Do Things Right
Employers must understand and follow employment relationship law to avoid wrongful termination claims in California. It is important to establish and follow best practices in multiple areas of employment defense.
You may need guidance from a wrongful termination defense law firm in Los Angeles to accurately identify the nature of your employment relationships. As noted above, sometimes a policy, employee handbook or behavior can create an implied employment contract you didn’t expect. An attorney that focuses their practice on protecting employers can help identify the legal implications 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 you understand the legal nature of your employment relationships, you must align the way you treat your employees with the relationship that exists. That could mean adjusting your employment handbook, your written or oral policies, and the practices that have been followed in the past.
Choose Susan A. Rodriguez as Your Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer
One of the best things a Southern California employer can do is to engage the services of a dedicated Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer on the front end. The team at the Law Offices of Susan A. Rodriguez, APC, has three decades of experience defending wrongful termination cases and helping employers position themselves to avoid these claims. Call today (213) 943-1323 or use this simple contact form to schedule an appointment.
355 S. Grand Ave., Ste. 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Office: (213) 943-1323
Cell: (310) 350-9995
4601 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 240
Los Angeles, CA 90071