Many people are surprised to learn that they are an at-will employee. This means that their employer can fire them at anytime, for any reason, with or without notice. So, an at-will employee can lose his or her job the minute he or she walks into the building one morning. Or at the end of the day and not be given two weeks to find a new job. Here is a little overview of at-will employment in California.
There are even laws in place in the state of California that protect the employer in at-will employment situations. Unless you signed a contract that specifically states you cannot be fired without good cause, the employer will always come out unscathed in any claim filed against him or her by a former at-will employee.
Many companies, even though they are protected by the law, will ask their employees to sign at-will employment clauses when they are being onboarded and signing other paperwork. Even though the company technically does not need this clause to protect itself in a potential lawsuit, it is still a good business practice that many companies follow. You are within your rights to refuse to sign this document.
Even though you are an at-will employee, it does not mean the company can fire you for religious, race, ethnic, gender, age or disability status. If a company fires an at-will employee for any of these reasons, he or she will be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit and will most likely walk away the victor. A wrongful termination claim could also be filed if your employer fires you for reporting the company for health violations or any other retaliatory reasons. Retaliation by a company that employs at-will workers is not protected under the laws of the state of California.
If you recently found out that you are an at-will employee in Sherman Oaks, contact our firm today to learn more about this employment type and how you can protect yourself in the future.