When a person is employed at-will in the state of California, it means that there is no notice period that either employee or employer must adhere to when ending the employment relationship. This means that the terms of employment are not very secure and there will likely be no severance package or other benefits to come with the employment termination unless it is stated in the contract.
However, although an at-will employment can be ended at any time without a reason, this does not mean that an employer can end the employment for an unlawful reason. A person being employed at-will can still have their employment wrongfully terminated. They have the right to take legal action if they believe that this is the case. The following are some examples of when an employee might be wrongfully terminated.
Refusing to engage in an illegal act
If an employer asks an employee to engage in an illegal act and the employee refuses to do so, they might be at risk of being fired because of this. If they are fired, they will likely be able to successfully charge their employer with wrongful termination.
When a person is injured on the job and claims workers' compensation, this is likely to raise their employer's insurance premiums. If the employer then retaliates by firing them, this will almost certainly be classed as wrongful termination.
If you believe that you have had your at-will employment wrongfully terminated in the state of California, it is important that you take action in order to assert your rights.