In some states such as California, employees enter at-will employments. This means that their employers can terminate them at any time within the employment period. Most of the reasons for termination are accepted, but there are also some which are not permitted by the law. If you are an employer and you do not want to get involved in a dispute case because of terminating an employee, here are some things you should remember:

  • Never make implied statements that would make your employees expect employment security – Be careful when complimenting your at-will employees. Never make statements that are related with their employment because they might assume that they would not be terminated.
  • You are prohibited from firing employees based on their race, age, gender, religion or disability – Discrimination is a major violation in the workplace. Even if they are only at-will employees, they are still covered by anti-discrimination laws.
  • Employers are forbidden to take adverse actions against their at-will employees – Any form harassment in the workplace is prohibited. Employers should also avoid hostile work environments.
  • You can terminate employees under the following conditions:
  • You are reorganizing your business or company. This means that the termination was needed for the company's development. You also need to prove that the employee was not the only one who was terminated in the reorganization process.
  • The employee has violated company policies. If he does illegal actions in the workplace, you have the right to fire him. Being a member of an illegal group or organization is also a valid reason for an employee to be terminated.
  • The worker has already completed the probationary period of employment. After the probationary period, the employer has the option to keep or terminate the employee. However, in some cases where employers made implied contracts with their employees, they may not be able to fire them immediately.

If you terminate your employee following the guidelines above, you would not have any problem. However, if you fail to consider these reminders and just fired him, be prepared to face the legal consequences of such termination which may be considered unlawful or illegal.

In case you followed the tips above and yet the employee filed a complaint against you, you will need legal help to defend you against him. If you are located in Los Angeles, you can find several employment law attorneys who can prove that you are innocent. You just need to gather and present enough evidence showing that what you did was lawful.