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Sometimes, new employees will come across on their job application, employee handbook or employment contract that they will be hired “at will”. For a lot of individuals, this term, at-will employment, is a complete mystery. However, the same individuals are often dismayed when they find out its actual meaning: that their employer has the power to let them go at any time and for any reason they deem fit. In this regard, the reasons why any employer can fire their at-will employees is quite versatile and diverse, naturally to the benefit of the same job provider. If or when the same employment ends, the employees will have a very limited legal potential to do anything about it. But, at the same time, there is a lot more to the same form of employment that is relevant to the employee, especially in the state of California. Here are the most important basic facts about at will employment in California.
The law, speaking from the most general standpoint across the US, presumes that anyone is an employee at will. The same does not stand only if the employee can prove that he or she was not hired on an at-will basis. This has to be proven through the use of a written document that was signed by both parties or through an oral statement that was made in the presence of a witness or a third party.
Documents used in the Process – At-Will Employment
Employers usually take a substantial effort to signal that their employees are hired on an at-will basis. This can come in the form of policies, handbook, applications, job evaluations and any other documents related to their employment. If any formal document was signed, the employee has no chance using the law to prove they were wronged in some manner by the employer. That is why anyone must check their document to be sure if they signed that they agree to be fired at any time and without a case. At the same time, a document signed which include a job security promise do not represent an employment at will. If these are breached by the employer, the employee has a right to sue.
Rights of Employee and At-Will Employment Agreements
Often, employers provide their new employees with a written statement that shows they are at-will employees. But, even those who are at-will employees have a set of legal rights. At will employment in California covers protection that a person cannot be fired for reasons that are illegal, either under the state law or the federal one. The same is true for being fired for complaining about a particular illegal activity, about harassment or discrimination, or safety and health violation in the same work environment. The same is true for the protection when it comes to taking medical or family leave, serve in the US military or taking the time to serve on a jury or vote. These are not reasons for getting fired at an at-will job.
With this crucial information on at will employment in California, anyone working under this type of an agreement can make sure their rights are fully protected.