“You’re fired!  For any reason or no reason, you’re an at‑will employee and I’m the boss.”

Have you heard that before?  Do employers really have that power?

You may not like to hear it, but they do.  They can fire you for any reason or no reason, but with two important exceptions.

First, there must be a good reason for firing you if they said there would be.  This is the “contract” exception.  Did they make express or implied promises of fairness or progressive discipline?  Did they follow the Orange County at-will employment procedures in the employee handbook?  Have their past practices with other employees been different?

Second, they can’t fire you for an illegal reason, such as discrimination, or in retaliation for reporting illegalities or refusing to participate in them.  This is the “public policy” exception.  Laws protecting you from these wrongs can’t be waived.

Don’t blindly accept your employer’s explanation of your rights in the workplace.  Correctly evaluate the terms of Orange County at-will employment for yourself.

Don D. Sessions, a Mission Viejo attorney, author and law school professor, helps employees enforce their rights including Orange County at-will employment.

Orange County At-Will Employment News

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