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Due to the economic crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately, we are seeing more and more employers forced to let their employees go either temporarily, or permanently. California has very strict requirements of what needs to happen when an employer terminates an employee’s employment with the company. In this article, I will try to cover some of the very basic requirements that employers must follow when terminating an employee.
First of all, when making the decision to terminate, an employer must be sure that they are not in violation of either federal, or state laws in terminating the employment of the employee. For example, an employer cannot terminate someone due to their age, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical, or mental disability, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, race and color, religion, and sexual orientation just to name a few basis. Additionally, an employer cannot terminate an employee for anti-retaliation when an employee refuses to, or reports the employer for violation of either state, or federal laws. This is some times referred to as the “whistleblower protections”. Finally, employers must also be aware that they are not in violation of a public policy such as firing someone for failure to violate a federal, state, or local governance statute; firing someone for following an obligation imposed by federal, state, or local statutes; firing someone when they are exercising a statutory right or privilege; and firing someone because they reported an alleged violation of statute.
When terminating an employee, at a minimum, the employer must ensure that the employee gets all of their earned pay immediately. This includes any vested hours such as vacation pay. Furthermore, the employer is obligated to provide the terminated employee at the time of their termination certain notices, such as a notice of change in relationship in conformity with the provisions of section 1089 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code; an Employment Development Department form DE 2320 - For Your Benefit: California’s Programs for the Unemployed; and a Department of Health Care Services Notice to Terminating Employees Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) Program. There are also additional notice requirements such as COBRA, and Cal-COBRA coverage; and notification of all continuation, and liability extension and conversion.
All employers when making the decision to terminate an employee should do so with full understanding of California, and Federal law requirements governing employment laws. This article is provided for general knowledge, not to provide advise, and should not take the place of advise of counsel. Each circumstance is unique, and accordingly, must be analyzed accordingly. Please contact your attorney in order to evaluate, and get advise on your particular circumstance, and if you like, you may also contact us for a free half hour case evaluation. You may contact us for a free case evaluation.
The information in this article do not constitute legal advise. Although every effort is made to maintain this article current, Zahbihi & Watkins Law Firm, APC cannot be held liable for any information provided here that may be not fully reflect the change in law.
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