Question

What are common causes of wrongful termination in California?

Sponsored Answer
Natasha Chesler - Employment Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Natasha Chesler

Located in Los Angeles, CAChesler McCaffrey LLP

Phone: 310-547-8188
Fax: 310-882-6359

View Profile
Answer

Being an at-will employee does not mean you don't have rights!

Most workers in California are at-will employees. This means they can leave their jobs at any time for any reason. Employers can also terminate employees at any time for any reason (i.e., without case) - but there are some limitations. You cannot be fired for an illegal reason based on protected status. You also cannot be fired in retaliation for opposing unlawful conduct. 

Whether you are an at-will employee or not, you are protected from discrimination and retaliation. If those rights are violated, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. 

Public Policies Protect Employees Against Wrongful Termination

Public policies protect you and your job rights. If your former employer violated those rights, you might have a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Employees can sue for discrimination based on protected categories such as: 

  • Race
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical disability
  • Mental disability
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military/veteran status

Employers also cannot retaliate against employees who oppose discrimination, harassment or an employer's failure to accommodate disability (or similar leave laws) - whether on behalf of yourself or others.  

California also has laws that protect employees against retaliation for whistleblowing - in other words, reporting violations of unlawful conduct (or what you reasonably in good faith believe to be unlawful conduct). 

Your employer also cannot terminate you if you were fired (or quit) due to bad working conditions. They cannot retaliate if you reported hazardous working conditions or health and safety violations, unpaid wages or Labor Code violations.    

Whistleblowers Are Protected

Whistleblowers are employees who report their employers’ violations or noncompliance of California laws, federal statutes or any rules and regulations.

Your employer cannot:

  • Have policies that prevent employees from whistleblowing
  • Retaliate against whistleblowers
  • Retaliate against an employee who refuses to take part in illegal or noncompliant activities
  • Retaliate against an employee for exercising their whistleblowing rights

There are four categories you could collect if you can prove wrongfully terminated. You could get compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and reimbursement for the cost of litigation.

Protect Your Rights

There will be challenges. You will need evidence. You can also expect your employer to have an attorney working for them. You should contact an attorney experienced in employment and wrongful termination laws.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other Answers About Wrongful Termination

Photo of Brian D. Spitz

What should I do if I was wrongfully fired from my job in Ohio?

After being wrongfully terminated from your job, the most important thing to do is to know your rights. It can be …

Sponsored answer by Brian D. Spitz

Photo of Mark K. Davis

What Do I Need To Know Before Signing Or Fighting A Noncompete Agreement In Washington?

Many employers require that new employees sign noncompete agreements before they can start work, and these …

Sponsored answer by Mark K. Davis

Photo of Joseph A. Fitapelli

Can I sue for Wrongful Termination in New York?

Can I sue for Wrongful Termination in New York?In most cases, a New York based employer can terminate you for any …

Sponsored answer by Joseph A. Fitapelli

Call Me
310-547-8188

To: Natasha Chesler

Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

* Required fields

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The use of the internet or this contact form for communication is not necessarily a secure environment. Contacting a lawyer or law firm email through this service will not create an attorney-client relationship, and information will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential.

Page Generated: 1.1630439758301 sec