Wrongful Termination Attorney San Francisco
While California is an at-will employment state, there are circumstances where wrongful termination claims can be made. When employees are fired or laid off in a way that violates their rights or breaches their contracts, they may file a lawsuit against your company. Wrongful termination suits can be expensive and time-consuming. The good news is that in most cases they are preventable.
By working with an experienced law firm, like Jordan Law Group, who understands both the conventions of employment law and the California Labor Code, you can reduce your risk of facing a wrongful termination suit. If a suit is filed, you will feel confident that your contracts and agreements have been negotiated properly and the termination was done legally.
What are the Exceptions to At-Will Employment?
In most cases, an employer can terminate an employee at any time according to the California Labor Code. However, statute, public policy or past court precedents have created exceptions to this rule. Federal and state laws protect employees from being discriminated against based on their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, medical conditions, political affiliations, military status, genetic information and their status as a victim of some types of crime. Employees are also protected from having their employment terminated because they are involved in union activities. Contracts that address employment security are also common for executive positions, and may lead to a wrongful termination suit. The Jordan Law Group can help you determine any risk factors for wrongful termination that may be present in your current company culture.
What is an Implied Contract?
While rare, former employees may file a wrongful termination lawsuit if they feel an implied contract promised continued employment. While these contracts are informal and may have been agreed to only verbally, courts have previously upheld them in some cases. To avoid a lawsuit based on this type of contract, it is important to avoid implying job security. Clear, concise wording emphasizing at-will employment should be used in the employee handbook, in all printed policies and in performance evaluations. At the same time, supervisors and human resources professionals should be trained to avoid addressing job security, and to use at-will language in interviews and reviews.
How are Executive Employee Contracts Different?
Companies tend to use standard contracts for most employees. Executive contracts, however, are often negotiated in order to make a position more attractive to a highly-sought after executive. This means that each contract is different, making it more difficult to ensure they protect a company from wrongful termination lawsuits.
Both the compensation and employment security areas of executive employee contracts can cause legal issues if not carefully negotiated and properly worded. Exit arrangements are also an area where litigation may occur if vital issues are not addressed correctly. This includes clearly detailing the basis of termination, for cause or no cause termination, economic consequences of termination and handling of dispute resolution.
Hiring a law firm that specializes in employment law can help avoid these issues and protect the interests of the company while also helping the executive negotiate the type of contract he was hoping to receive. The Jordan Law Group can also help with separation and release agreements, complex equity agreements and severance packages.
How Can an Experienced Employment Lawyer Help?
There are several ways employers can protect themselves from wrongful termination lawsuits. These include ensuring all employment handbooks and other communications use at-will language and do not accidentally imply contracts. An experienced law firm can offer strategic solutions to help human resources professionals and other company leadership ensure they are communicating clearly throughout the hiring, supervising, review and termination process.
When it comes to executive contracts, an employment attorney can also play an active role in negotiating employment agreements that help protect your company from wrongful termination suits. This may include separation and release agreements.
The Jordan Law Group represents San Francisco employers and employees in all aspects of labor employment law. By helping our clients negotiate successful employment contracts and other agreements, wrongful termination concerns are greatly reduced. We are experts in the California Labor Code, and have a consistent track record of assisting companies just like yours avoid unnecessary wrongful termination suits. Contact us at (415) 459-9865 for a consultation today.