It’s not unusual for people who have been laid off or fired to believe that the termination occurred illegally. Many people believe that an employer is required to have a legitimate reason to terminate the employment. While in some states that is true, in California, employers can fire employees for any reason or for no reason at all. California is called an “at-will” state.
However, even in at-will states, there are some limitations on what an employer can do. An employer cannot fire an employee if the termination is based on illegal discrimination. An employer also cannot fire an employee in retaliation for the employee exercising his or her legal rights. If the employee is a member of a union, there may be additional protections in place. If there is an employment contract in place, the contract my give the employee additional protections under law. Finally, if the employee is an employee of the government, there may be extra protections that aren’t available to employees in the private sector.
Some examples of illegal termination include firing a woman because she becomes pregnant, firing an employee who made a complaint about the employer’s illegal behavior, firing older employees before younger employees, firing an employee who refused to prepare incorrect tax returns for the employer, or firing an employee who is protected by a union. The employers may claim that the termination occurred for a different reason.
Independent contractors do not have the same rights as employees. An employer can stop using the services of an independent contractor at any time for any reason. However, it’s common for employers to incorrectly classify some workers as independent contractors when they are actually employees. If you believe that you are an employee but you were told you were an independent contractor, you should speak with an employment attorney.
If you believe you were illegally fired in Los Angeles, you should speak with an attorney. Call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment attorney, at 310-651-8272. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.