As a California employee, your job likely represents one of the most important things in your life. Whether you love it or hate it, your job is where you go and what you do for a significant amount of time each week so you can earn the money you need to pay your bills and hopefully have a little left over for fun things. You need your job and the last thing you need is to get fired from it.
The Family Medical Leave Act is designed to allow employees extended periods of leave while they take care of ailing family, give birth or face a myriad of other family and health situations. The act allows workers to return to their positions after an extended leave and protects them from losing their jobs. Employers are required by law to keep the job for them under FMLA and cannot terminate employees or give their job away while they are gone.
No one ever plans for health or family issues to arise, yet they do, and oftentimes they will require your full and undivided attention. That may leave little for you to expend in fulfilling the duties of your employment. The hope is that when such issues do present themselves, your employer will be understanding and not only afford you the time off needed to attend to them, but also welcome you back when said issues have been dealt with. Many come to us here at The Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton concerned that such understanding will not be extended to them. If you share the same worry, you will be happy to learn that your employer does not have the choice: it is required by federal law.
In California, it is common for employment of a person by a company to be considered at-will. This generally means that an employee is not required to remain working for the company if the employee wishes to leave. On the other side of the coin, the company may be allowed to terminate the person's employment for any reason at any time. This, however, does not mean that all terminations are lawful.
People who work in California and hear about others being fired from their jobs may sometimes think that this is a problem that employees in leadership positions within a company may not have to grapple with. In reality, anyone in any position may find themselves out of a job for reasons they do not always agree with. An example of this can be seen in a lawsuit that was recently filed in the Bay Area.
Being fired from your job can be an especially distressing experience when you have no idea why you were terminated. You might be sure that you have performed up to the standards of company conduct and performance. So if you feel left in the dark over your firing, California law allows you to ask your employer to provide your personnel file to look at, in addition to any records relating to your firing. By checking your personnel file, you may find the rationale behind your termination and even discover if the termination was unjust.
The vast majority of people who live and work in California receive classifications as “at-will” employees, meaning they can leave a position, or conversely, have their employers fire them from a position, at virtually any time, and for virtually any reason. At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we recognize that there are a number of exceptions that exist to the state’s at-will employment doctrine, and if your situation meets the terms of any of these exemptions and your employer terminates you anyway, you may have grounds for recourse.
It is understandable to worry about losing your job if you are in the middle of a nasty flu and you have called in sick for three days in a row. Nobody wants you to share your germs at work, but productivity can also suffer when a member of the team is out sick. If you are fired for a legitimate health issue, you and other Californians might wonder if you have legal rights.
If you are employed in California, the company you work for has a responsibility to provide fair treatment to you and all employees. Companies cannot discriminate against people on basis of religion, gender, race, sexual orientation or age, as well as people who are disabled or pregnant. When people are not treated fairly or are terminated on questionable grounds, they may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer.
If you recently lost your job in California, it may have left you wondering what to do next. Before you walk away from the situation, you may want to consider whether you were wrongfully terminated. We at the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton often help people evaluate whether an employer took an illegal action against them.