Carney R. Shegerian, an employee rights attorney and founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based litigation law firm representing employees, advises employees of their legal rights as “at will” employees.
Shegerian states, “In the United States employees are generally hired ‘at will.’ This means that the employer may fire them for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all. Nonetheless, an employer cannot fire even an ‘at will’ employee for illegal reasons.”
Shegerian also adds that if written documents or oral statements made by the employer expressing continued employment exist than the employee is no longer considered “at will.” “For example,” Shegerian states, “if an employer says to the employee ‘keep up the great work and you’ll be promoted,’ then an implied contract not to terminate employment without good cause exists and violation of the same is deemed breech of contract.”
As mentioned above “at will” employees cannot be fired for illegal reasons including termination on the basis of ethnicity and national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, and whistle blowing.
Shegerian states, “I believe that if more ‘at will’ employees understand that being ‘at will’ does not mean that they can be fired for illegal reasons than they can help in the fight for employee rights.”
An experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, always representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations. Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. He remains undefeated in federal jury trials and has won 14 seven figure verdicts representing employees.