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I would like to know if a company polices defines all

Customer Question
I would like to...

I would like to know if a company polices defines all employees as "at will" and includes in that policy guidelines for Voluntary and Involuntary Termination does this constitute a contract and if the employee terminates for other than stated reason in the involutary --provided not warning or counseling verbal or written--is there a cause of action for breach of contract or unfair treatment under California Law.?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

HR was present on the call announcing the termination of employment.

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

NO

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

They offered 2 weeks servernce is a RElease Ageement is signed but normally people have been given 1 to 2 weeks for every year employed. I am at 18 years.

Submitted: 29 days ago.Category: Employment Law
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3/21/2018
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 29 days ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,144
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 29 days ago

Generally, employees can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all; however, if a company has a policy or handbook that they agree to follow, and they fail to follow the procedures, then they would be in breach of contract. Sometimes, employer may have a disclaimer in their handbook that they reserve the right to disregard those policies if needed, but if that is not the case, then it's a breach.

A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. This applies even when there was no written agreement, but just an oral agreement between the parties. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started. What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
They also sent out a Opt out agreement for arbitration some time ago that I found as I was clearing out files. It is very confusing to read and I wasn't sure if I signed this. I called HR and they told me that because I DID NOT sign it I agreed to going to arbitration. I was reading about these on line and found that the Courts are split on whether these should be honored. It is a bit deceitful in how they approach such a serious decision. So, the article said Federal Courts lean towards honoring becasue it is a Federal Law but State Courts are not so eager to agree to hold an employee to these type of letters. I live in California and my company is based in Maryland so I guess they could take it to federal Court? Do you happen to know how CA courts view this or our District Court (nine) and does this seem right to do this to an employee?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 29 days ago

I see. You're correct regarding arbitration. Some states are fine with it, others believe it limits employee's ability to defend their rights. It's really a crap shoot this day and age. Generally, in the 9th circuit, where California is, they are less in favor of these kinds of agreements typically. This is at least according to an LA County Bar magazine article I wrote that discussed this very topic a few months ago. The court will usually look at the fairness of the agreements and compare it to the # of employees the company has, for what reasons they can go to arbitration, and if it unfairly limits the employee's ability to assert their rights. It's a bit subjective, but CA usually leans more toward employees.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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