“At will” employment refers to the right of either the employer or the employee to end the employment relationship for no reason or for a good reason. Not all employment is “at will”.
For example, sometimes there are employment contracts which provide the employment will only be terminated by the employer if there is good cause to do so. Also, even if the employment is at will, there may be exceptions, such as where the employment is terminated for an unlawful reason, as in a termination in violation of a statute or fundamental public policy, or in violation of a contract providing for a specific length of the employment.
We provide advice and representation in matters concerning termination of employment, which may concern focusing on whether the termination is unlawful termination, and also many other issues as well- such as questions about employment references after termination, COBRA, CAL-COBRA or other health benefits extension laws, severance agreements. Sometimes these matters involve the question of whether the employee’s termination is in violation of a specific law.
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An example of one of the many situations in which there is an issue about the termination violating a specific law is when there is a failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee contrary to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) of 1990.
In one such case we handled, a worker was injured on the job, and was no longer able to work in his prior assignment. While on leave, he identified another job at the same pay level in the company which he was rated qualified for, but the employer passed over him in filling the position. Eventually the company terminated him without his ever returning from leave, and he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. We handled this case and obtained a successful outcome.