What to Do After Being Fired in California

What to Do After Being Fired in California

Getting fired in California for any reason is no fun. But being fired wrongfully can be a nightmare, especially when you aren’t sure what to do next. At Bibiyan Law Group, P.C., we think employers should treat their employees with dignity and respect. Our team believes in compassion and clear communication, and we take pride in being there for clients at every step of the employment claims process. Our ultimate mission is to protect your employment interests and ensure that big businesses and powerful individuals never trample on your rights. Contact us if you were fired and have concerns about whether your termination was legal. Our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer can answer your questions and help you determine your next best steps.

What Is At-Will Employment?

In California, most workers are at-will employees. An at-will employee usually works at the employer’s place of business, works set hours, does work that is vital to the company’s regular business, is trained and managed by the company, and collects an hourly wage or salary.

Legally an employer can end a working relationship with an at-will employee without notice, even for reasons that seem unfair or even ridiculous—for instance, if the employer doesn’t like the employee. Likewise, at-will employees are free to leave their job at any time.

Though employees and employers can terminate employment for almost any reason, federal and state laws offer employees numerous protections against illegal firings. Federal and state anti-discrimination and wrongful termination laws also provide specific grounds under which an employee can file a wrongful termination claim. For example, an employer may not fire an at-will employee for discriminatory reasons like their race, religion, or sex, or to retaliate against the employee for reporting harassment or for exercising a legal right. 

What Should I Do After Being Fired in California?

If your employer fired you, an experienced employment lawyer can review your case and help you determine your next steps. But taking the following actions is also helpful.

Know Your Rights

California’s constitution also gives employees the right to privacy at work and to inspect and copy payroll records. Under the California wage and hour law, non-exempt employees must also receive certain breaks, minimum wage, and overtime pay set by the state. If you believe your termination stems from your employer violating your privacy rights or because you asked for something the California constitution permits or protects, it could also be a wrongful termination. 

Collect Evidence

If you think your termination was unlawful, collect any information you can use as evidence to support your claim as soon after your employer terminates you as possible. Helpful items to collect and record include:

  • The name and contact information of the person who decided to terminate you;
  • The reason you were terminated;
  • The names and contact information of any coworkers or witnesses to the incident; and
  • Emails, files, or text conversations that will help prove your termination was illegal.

When you meet with your employment lawyer, they will review all the evidence you’ve compiled, conduct an investigation, and help you determine whether your firing was unlawful.

Notify the Correct Agencies

Before filing a federal discrimination complaint in court, you must file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Since California has legislation prohibiting discrimination on the same grounds, you must submit your discrimination claim to the EEOC within 180 days of the wrongful termination.

In California, you must also file workplace discrimination or retaliation complaints based on race, color, ancestry, religion, age (40 and over), disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, military and veteran status, or national origin with the Civil Rights Department of the State of California.

If your employer fired you for retaliatory reasons because of a workplace health or safety complaint, you can file a retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office online, in person at any of the Labor Commissioner’s Offices, or by mail or email

Each of these departments will decide whether to investigate your claim. If the applicable agency fails to prosecute your case, you can talk to your attorney about filing a lawsuit in state or federal court. Other laws and statutory limitations may also apply, so it’s always best to speak to a seasoned employment lawyer who knows California employment law, can walk you through filing a claim, and explain all filing deadlines.

Bibiyan Law Group, Experience You Can Count On

At Bibiyan Law Group, we know employment law well because it’s the only thing we practice. Our award-winning advocates have won millions of dollars for employees who have suffered from wrongful termination. And we have dedicated our lives to helping employees fight the unfair actions of bad bosses and other unscrupulous employers. If your employer wrongfully terminated you, we can answer all your employment questions, determine whether you have a case, and work to obtain an exceptional outcome. Book a free phone consultation today. Call 323-205-7796 and let our team help you right your employer’s wrongdoing.

Author Photo

David Bibiyan is a distinguished attorney at Tomorrow Law, renowned for his expertise in employment law. With a strong focus on representing employees in various workplace disputes, he has become a trusted advocate for those facing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour issues. Bibiyan’s approach is characterized by a deep understanding of both state and federal employment laws, ensuring that his clients receive knowledgeable and effective representation. His commitment to justice is evident in his dedication to each case, where he meticulously works to secure the best possible outcomes for his clients. Bibiyan’s reputation is built on a foundation of successful case resolutions, marked by his skillful negotiation and, when necessary, aggressive litigation strategies. His work at Tomorrow Law reflects a genuine passion for defending workers’ rights and promoting fair employment practices.

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