Construction Attorneys
Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, INC.

the cornerstone of construction law

Hunt Ortmann is one of the foremost authorities on California construction law, contracts, dispute resolution and litigation offering additional legal services in the areas of business and commercial law, employment matters and labor law compliance, real estate, insurance and suretyship.

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Wrongful Termination

In California, private employment is presumptively “at will,” unless the employee has an individual employment contract or the position is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.  “At will” employment means that employers are free to fire or demote “at will” employees for any lawful reason, and are not required to have “just cause” for doing so.  Reciprocally, employees are free to quit or resign from their positions at any time, without legal repercussions.

However, California law prohibits employers from firing employees for unlawful reasons, including:

    • Discrimination based on any protected characteristic under California and federal law, including discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or political affiliation (e.g., under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act).
    • Retaliation based on protesting, in-house reporting, or outside whistle blowing against discrimination, harassment, or violation of various employment regulations, such as the wage and hour law.
    • Filing a workers compensation claim.
    • Taking authorized leave – family, medical, and pregnancy (e.g., under the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act).
    • Voting
    • Jury duty.

To prove a claim for wrongful termination, an employee must show that the employer terminated his or her employment for one of these unlawful reasons.  The lawyers of the employment group at Hunt Ortmann can assist your company with drafting policies and procedures that will help avoid wrongful termination claims.

For more information about Hunt Ortmann’s Employment Law Group, please CLICK HERE.

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