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Does your termination violate an implied contract?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Wrongful Termination

Getting fired is never easy, especially when you believe it is unfair. If your employer breaks promises by firing you, this may be a breach of contract.

Knowing how implied contracts work can help you understand your rights when you lose your job.

What is an implied contract?

When an understanding between an employer and employee infers an agreement but does not explicitly state it, this is an implied contract. You may form an understanding of your job security in various ways.

California courts recognize implied contracts based on factors such as:

  • Verbal promises
  • Written policies
  • Employer actions
  • Employee handbooks
  • Past practices

These contracts imply an obligation of good faith and fair dealing, including the requirement that an employer have cause for termination.

What actions violate an implied contract?

When an employer terminates you in a manner that goes against implied agreements, it is wrongful termination. For example, suppose your boss fires you without cause. This action may violate your understanding that termination only occurs for specific reasons. If your termination is not in accordance with established company policies or practices, this also could be a breach of contract.

What are your legal rights?

If your termination disregards an implied understanding, you have legal rights to protect yourself. You must first file a complaint with the appropriate government agency, typically the Department of Labor, to ensure they investigate the matter. Your course of action depends on the specifics of your case and the type of job you have.

After you exhaust these administrative remedies, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. You may be able to get compensation for lost wages or emotional distress. You may also be able to attain reinstatement.

How can you prove an implied contract violation?

Gather evidence to support your claim. Proof of a breach can include written communication, company policies, employee handbooks or witness statements. Documentation shows the existence of an implied contract and how firing you violates it. Keeping a record of events leading up to your termination can also be beneficial.

By understanding the nature of implied contracts, you can work to secure a favorable outcome in your wrongful termination case.

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