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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I was recently laid off after I helped my company win a $6

Customer Question

I was recently laid off after I helped my company win a $6 million contract where I was the proposed Senior Technical Advisor overseeing the Project Manager. They turned around the next day and asked me to consider signing a subcontract to serve as the Quality Assurance Director for the project. Can I sue them, or would I have a strong enough case to get them to pay me a settlement?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Do you have an employment contract with your employer or are you an 'at-will' employee?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had an employment contract as a full time employee, and the contract termination clause indicated I was an "at will" employee. However, I understood California Law does frowns on companies that lay off employees and then hire them back as contractors.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
All of the above.
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Michael.

Yes, that is true that California law frowns on companies that lay off employees and hire them back as indpendent contractors, if they actually should be classified as employees.

You can read more about the employee vs. independent contractor classification online here:

You should make a complaint to the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement if you believe you've been misclassified.

Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that you're an at-will employee, so you wouldn't have any cause of action against your employer since you can be terminated at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922 and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

I sincerely wish I had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Michael,

Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!