5) Breach of Contract: Wrongful Termination
If an employee is not classified as “at will,” then that is probably because there is an employment agreement that states that the worker will be laid off only under specific conditions, otherwise known as “good cause” or “just cause.” However, if an individual did not sign an agreement like this, then wrongful termination can occur when an employer terminates their employment for the reason that has not been out outlined in the agreement.
Additionally, if the employee’s agreement says that they will only be terminated for “just cause,” then the reason for termination must fit the agreement’s description of a just cause. If it does not, this could also qualify as wrongful termination.
Likewise, wrongful termination can occur in this category if an employer uses the agreement and the reasons stated within it as a cover for another improper reason. Some employers will reference the agreement and the “good cause” terms but then terminate their employees for unrelated and unfair reasons.
If you do not have a written and signed agreement with your place of work, the courts can still be asked to figure out of your agreement is actually on oral terms or implied. An implied contract could be predicated on the fact that the employer has a type of written policy that they enforce that states that terminations can only occur for “good cause.”
These situations can be complicated, so if you believe your contract has been violated or breached in this way by your employer, make sure to contact an attorney who is familiar with California employment law.