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Understanding California Employment Laws

California workers that are categorized as “at will” employees may find themselves in danger of being terminated from their workplace for virtually any reason even when it is an unjust one or for no reason at all. Normally, an employee who has been working for an organization for less than five years and does not have an employment contract, may be considered an “at will” employee under the California employment laws.

The termination needs to have violated some fundamental right to file a wrongful termination claim. Simply put, this means that the state regulation federal statute or constitutional provision should have already been violated by the termination. For example, when the company orders an employee to do something which is against regulations, the law, ordinance or statute, the employer cannot lawfully fire that worker for refusing to do this kind of thing. One may pursue this in cases such as when an employee complains about what they believe is a violation of the law including failure to pay overtime, late payment of wages or workplace safety problems and is fired because of this.

Another violation that would lead to a wrongful termination claim comes up when the employee’s true reason for letting go of the worker is based on the employee’s gender, age, disability, religion or national origin. Although such discriminations are under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, they can also result in a common law claim as they can be in breach of the public policy. Similarly, this also is true for termination made in retaliation for a worker’s opposition to or complaints about discrimination or harassment on any one of the protected classifications. Take the example when an employee complain about sexual harassment and is criticized at work for it or is written up, disciplined or fired. In such a case, they would have a claim for retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and also under common law.
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Other terminations might be illegal as they’ve been prohibited under different laws. Some of these are the firing of employees because of taking medical, or maternity leave or sexual orientation. Employees who have to take leave due to a serious medical condition or must care for a child or parent that has such a condition, are protected under the law. The protection under law applies if they have worked for the company for more than a year or more than 1250 hours during the previous year or the organization has more than 50 workers within a seventy-five-mile radius. State and Federal laws are enacted to protect workers against wrongful termination. Normally, these laws prohibit termination based on race, age, gender, nationality, religion and disability.The Essentials of Experts – Breaking Down the Basics