In previous posts we have discussed that most employees in California are at-will employees, which means that they do not have a contract stating that they will be employed for a specific period of time. This means that they can quit or be fired at any time for almost any reason.
However, employees who do happen to have contracts may have wrongful termination claims even if they were not discriminated or retaliated against.
This is what a former employee of a fast growing marijuana company is alleging in his wrongful termination lawsuit. The employee was the company's chief financial officer and signed a four-year contract in February of 2018 and terminated his employment in November 2018 well before his contract expired.
Without regard to his contract, he also claimed that he was forced out because he refused to do certain questionable actions and questioned the spending habits of the owners of the company. He is now seeking millions in compensation for this wrongful termination and breach of contract.
When people sign employment contracts, both the employer and the employee are bound by the terms of the contract. If the employer terminates the employment early or forces an employee out for reasons not mentioned in the contract, the employee could be entitled to compensation. This compensation can include the entire salary they would have earned if they worked the entire contract. They could also be compensated for lost bonuses and other benefits they would have received.
People in California work many different jobs, and while most are considered at-will employees, many also have employment contracts.
Each contract is different in terms of length and the terms, but one thing all employment contracts have in common is that the employer must follow them. If they do not, they may be required to compensate the employee. Experienced attorneys understand these contracts and may be able to help employees enforce them.