Wrongful Termination in Violation of an Implied Contract | Mann & Elias
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Wrongful Termination in Violation of an Implied Contract

Wrongfully Terminated? Contact Our Unfair Firing Lawyers Los Angeles

In the state of California, there is a labor law known as “implied employment contract.” Generally speaking, this is an agreement between you and your employer that isn’t in writing. Instead, it is something that is implied through both verbal promises and the behavior of both parties.

Although California follows the rule of at-will employment in the workplace, an implied employment contract is an exception to that rule. “At-will” means that when there is an employee and employer relationship, either the employee or employer can terminate it at any point, even without any specific reason. In other words, an employee can choose to quit their job if they wish to. Likewise, the employer can lay off or terminate the employee if they want. The at-will rule is only in place when there is no implied employment contract in place.

As a result of the implied employment contract, if an employer suddenly fires an employee, that worker can look into filing a lawsuit with the help of unfair firing lawyers in Los Angeles. In that situation, as an employee who is unfairly terminated, you can hire the best employment-based representation to recover damages under the state’s wrongful termination laws. It’s only fair to have questions about how to go about pursuing legal representation. You can learn more about both below.

What is an Implied Contract for Employment in California Law?

An implied employment contract is just that, a contract that is an agreement that binds two parties in a means other than in writing. Even though it isn’t in writing, it still stands through the conduct of both parties. Per California’s employment laws, when you have an implied employment contract, it means that your employer has made an official agreement not to fire you from your job unless they have just cause to do so.

Under California’s employment laws, there is an automatic assumption that any employee who does not have an implied employment contract with their employer that they can be terminated anytime for any reason or even for no reason at all. This is also commonly known as the at-will employment rule. In other words, an employer can then fire an employee who has been loyal and excellent at their job for any reason at all. For example, the employer can fire the worker and hire someone else to do the exact same job because they will accept a lower salary or be a friend or romantic partner of the employer.

However, when there is an implied employment contract in place, it is considered an exception of at-will employment. If it is at all possible for a terminated employee to prove there was an implied employment contract involved, lawyers can help clients start the claim process.

How Do I Prove That My Employer and I Had an Implied Contract?

Generally speaking, an implied employment contract is created by the conduct exhibited by your employer through their behavior. As a result, there are various ways to prove that such a contract exists. The evidence is the manner by which your employer has behaved.

Lawyers want to take a look at certain factors to determine whether there actually was an implied employment contract in place. They include the following:

  • The general policies and practices of your employer
  • The length of time you worked for your employer
  • Communications and actions on the part of your employer that asserted that you could continue being employed at their company
  • The practices of the industry that you worked in

It’s important to know what just because there is an implied employment contract in place, that doesn’t mean an employer cannot fire an employee. The employer would need to have good cause for the termination. For example, if the employee made a serious error while performing their job and the error led to damage, the employer can legally terminate them. The employee would not be able to speak with lawyers that handle the wrongful termination suit against the employer.

Can I Have an Implied Contract for Continued Employment if My Written Employment Contract Says I am At-Will?

Under California’s employment laws, there are only certain situations in which you can be terminated without good cause if you are considered an at-will employee. In most cases, if you have a written employment contract that specifies that you are an at-will employee, the court will not decide whether there was an implied employment contract to protect you from being terminated. A lawyer would not be able to help you to recover damages because the written contract will always take precedence.

At the same time, there are certain instances where an at-will employment agreement can be overturned by an agreement not to terminate without just cause that comes up later. Usually, these must be explicit and clear either in written form or orally, but they cannot simply be implied just through the employer’s behavior.

Additionally, the employee is required to give some kind of consideration for the employer’s new implied contract not to terminate them, such as by honoring a no-compete clause or not leaving until after completing a specific project.

What Kind of Damages Can I Recover in an Implied Contract Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?

If you plan to sue your employer for wrongful termination, the first thing you should do is speak with the best lawyer Mann & Elias has to offer. The damages you would recover would be based on the implied employment contract and limited to the value of said contract. Specifically, the damages recoverable would include the following:

  • The amount of money you would have earned up until the day you get your verdict from the court. Additionally, you would also receive the value of the expected pay increase you would have earned and benefits.
  • The current value of the amount of money you would have received from the employer from the date of the verdict in your case for as long as your employment would have been expected to go on.
  • The amount of money you could have earned from similar employment during the same time frame.

What is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Based on an Implied Employment Contract?

Just like with any other type of lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations or specific amount of time during which you can file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Generally, it’s two years from the date of your termination. Although this might seem like a long time, it’s important to perform adequate research prior to starting your lawsuit and consulting with an experienced attorney so you have the strongest possible case. Always file within a timely manner as well, or your case will not be heard by the court.

If you have been wrongfully terminated in California, you should contact the best employment attorney in Los Angeles to initiate your wrongful termination claim.


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