If you work as an at-will employee, you may quit your job at any time and for any reason. As noted by Inc.com, you could walk off the job and even make rude comments as you leave. You have a right to quit without fearing retaliation.
California’s labor laws require employers to pay their former employees for their hours worked and for any earned vacation time. Despite leaving without notice, you still provided labor in exchange for pay, which you have a right to receive. If your employer fails to pay you, filing a lawsuit to recover any remaining compensation is within your rights.
Employment law violations may require a legal action
If a manager harassed you based on your race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion or age, you may file a lawsuit regardless of an at-will employment arrangement. As described by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website, harassment includes comments or remarks that make you feel uncomfortable.
You may sue an employer that discriminated against you. Some employers may hesitate to fire an at-will employee. If you find yourself demoted, however, and you suspect your race or ethnicity contributed, you may file a lawsuit. If an at-will employer used discriminatory factors to demote you instead of firing you, the action violates labor laws.
Wrongful termination may require proof of retaliation
Many individuals mistakenly believe they cannot file a legal action against an at-will employer. Certain circumstances, however, allow you to sue for wrongful termination. Making a complaint about a coworker’s sexual misconduct, for example, may result in an unlawful retaliatory firing.
Employers must follow both federal and state labor laws regardless of at-will employment arrangements. Documenting discussions with your employer may provide evidence that an unexpected firing occurred as a result of retaliation.