Most employment relationships in California are considered to be “at-will,” meaning that an employer can discharge an employee at any time for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, employers cannot base a termination on a reason that is unlawful or that violates an important public policy.
A wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for a reason that violates a law, regulation, or policy of the State of California or of the United States. Some terminations are prohibited by specific employment laws, but California courts also recognizes unlawful terminations that are contrary to public policy. Public policy is something that involves a fundamental interest of the public at large, rather than simply the relationship between a single employer and its employee. Therefore, a public policy is grounded in a state or federal law or regulation.
The wrongful termination lawyers at Minnis & Smallets represent employees in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area who have been fired for conduct that is protected by laws or public policies. Employees who were unlawfully terminated are often entitled to lost wages, emotional distress damages, and, in some cases, additional compensation.
A number of California and federal laws make it unlawful to fire an employee for engaging in conduct that the law protects. Examples include:
If you were discharged from your employment and you believe the firing violated a state or federal law or public policy, you need legal advice from a wrongful termination attorney. The employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets have successfully represented many executives, professionals, and other “at will” employees who have been unlawfully terminated. To learn how Minnis & Smallets can help you, call us at 415-551-0885 or submit our online contact form.