In California, most employment positions are considered to be “at-will.” In other words, an employer may fire an employee for any reason or for no reason at all. However, an employer may not fire an employee for a discriminatory reason or for other reasons prohibited by state and federal laws.
If an employer fires an employee illegally, it is considered wrongful termination and that employee may seek financial damages from the employer.
Contact Limonjyan Law Group today for a free consultation with a dedicated wrongful termination lawyer.
Table of Contents
What is Wrongful Termination in California?
Wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer violates either state or federal laws when firing an employee. Examples of wrongful termination include when an employer fires staff for unlawful reasons, such as retaliation or discrimination.
If you’ve been fired for any of these reasons, you can sue your employer for wrongful termination. However, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that your dismissal was unlawful. For this reason, you should consider working with a lawyer familiar with wrongful termination laws in California.
Situations Where an Employee May Be Unlawfully Terminated
There are a number of situations that may give rise to a wrongful termination claim:
- If an employee is the victim of discrimination and is fired for reporting the discrimination, or if the firing is the end result of discrimination, it may be possible to make a case for wrongful termination.
- If an employee is fired after reporting an illegal act undertaken by the employer or for engaging in other activities protected by whistleblower laws, it is likely wrongful termination.
- “Constructive discharge” can occur when an employee has no choice but to quit his or her job because the employer has made working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable person would have also quit if forced to face these conditions.
Because California is an at-will employment state, it can be difficult to prove cases of wrongful termination. That is why it is important to have a skilled legal advocate in your corner. At Limonjyan Law Group, we provide services in English, Spanish, Russian, and Armenian.
Can I Be Fired for Whistleblowing?
Under California whistleblowing law, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for whistleblowing. California whistleblower protection law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who report unlawful acts or refuse to participate in activities that infringe on laws and regulations.
If you lose your job for being a whistleblower, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact the wrongful termination lawyers at Limonjyan Law Group to learn how much you can get for your damages.
Is It Against California Wrongful Termination Laws If My Employer Fired Me for Rejecting Sexual Advances?
Yes. California wrongful termination laws make it illegal to fire employees because they refuse to engage in sexual activities. If your employer fired you for rejecting their sexual advances, you could sue them for sexual harassment, and they could face serious consequences.
If you believe you have been wrongfully fired, you should contact an employment lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Does My Employer Have to Hold My Position While I Care for a Sick Family Member on Medical Leave?
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your place of business must allow you to keep your job if you take medical leave. However, the same statute lets your boss assign you different responsibilities once you return with the same pay and benefits.
If your employer terminates your position while you care for a sick family member on medical leave, you can take legal action against the employer. A wrongful termination lawyer can guide you through your legal process.
Wrongful Termination Checklist
Determining if your termination qualifies as unlawful can be challenging and knowing what comes next can be even trickier. Being fired based on your race, age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, pregnancy or disability would be labeled as wrongful termination.
Getting fired because you spoke out about labor laws such as safety regulations, meal breaks, rest breaks, and overtime also falls under the scope of wrongful termination.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you have a valid wrongful termination claim:
- Do you have any supporting evidence that shows you were discriminated against?
- Were there other people of your same race, gender, etc. that were also targeted in a recent layoff?
- Is everyone who is of similar race, gender, etc. all treated differently by the ones you report to?
- Has there been any favoritism toward a group of employees from a manager?
- Have you been a victim of offensive or insulting comments from your employer?
- Have you witnessed unwelcome romantic or sexual advances from your employer?
- Did you file any complaints or reports against your company before you were terminated?
- If so, did you receive any backlash from your employer?
- Does your employment contract state a reason why your employer fired you?
- Was there a company handbook that went over topics like termination?
- Was there any verbal promises made to you that secured your job?
If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a case against your employer.
What Compensation Is Available in a California Wrongful Termination Lawsuit?
Our wrongful termination lawyers at Limonjyan Law Group can work with you to determine the damages you could recover in your case. These could include:
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Lost job benefits
- Attorney’s fees and other court expenses
What Can I Do about Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination cases can be complex. If you believe you have been fired on illegal grounds, you should contact a wrongful termination lawyer. A lawyer will be able to review the specifics of your case, protect your legal rights, and provide guidance on the best course of action.
Get in touch with us online or call (213) 277-7444 to discuss your case with our lead attorney, Ruben Limonjyan, and get the legal representation you deserve.