How to Protect Yourself Against a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit


The salesman you hired about six months ago just doesn’t seem to be working out. He’s not meeting his numbers and he hasn’t picked up on your concern regarding his performance.  Moreover, some of the female employees in the San Francisco office are uncomfortable with some of his sexist comments and innuendo. You’ve decided it’s time for him to go.

You know that he’s the type who won’t take it well and may even try to sue you if you follow through. The California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement clearly states employment may be terminated at the will of either party. Both the employer and the employee are free to end the employment relationship at any time. So, even though you can fire him, you should still know how to protect yourself against a wrongful termination suit. You’re ahead of the game if you can answer these questions:

  • Is this termination for legitimate business reasons?
  • Are there discrimination factors involved?
  • Is he a drug user? California permits drug testing of employees, but using the results may be difficult.
  • Is he a "whistleblower?" The state and the U.S. federal government protect employees who inform government agencies about possible violations of state and/or federal law by their company.
  • Is the employee involved in a protected activity? Protected activities can involve employee privacy and working in a public service that prevents the employee from going to work.

California employment law may require too much time and effort for you as a layman to fully understand.

Posted in Business Law

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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