Wrongful Termination in California
Even though California is an at-will employment state, not every job termination is legal. And if your employer fired you for an unlawful reason, you could have the right to receive financial compensation and other legal relief from a settlement, court, or government agency. Victims of wrongful termination in California can call Bibiyan Law Group, PC when they are ready to fight against mistreatment in the working world. We are aggressive, knowledgeable, and concerned about enforcing employees’ rights. Reach out and speak with a wrongful termination attorney today.
What Is At-Will Employment?
First, we should review what at-will employment means. In California, an at-will employee can be fired at any time for almost any reason or no reason. An at-will employee can also quit at any time for any reason. Now that you know what at-will employment is, we can discuss the exceptions to this default rule.
California Wrongful Termination Laws
There are several ways that an employer can be responsible for unlawful termination in California. An employer that ends an employment relationship in one of the following ways has likely committed wrongful termination:
- Firing an employee because of personal characteristics protected by state or federal anti-discrimination laws,
- Terminating an employee in breach of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement,
- Firing an employee for a reason that is against public policy,
- Terminating an employee in breach of an implied employment contract, or
- Firing an employee in violation of Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) requirements.
If you were the victim of an unlawful termination in California, it is not always obvious from the outset, so you should speak to one of our experienced wrongful termination lawyers immediately to help make sure you do not miss any remedy to which you are entitled.
Employees in California are protected by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under these laws, an employer cannot fire someone for any of the following reasons:
- Age (40 or older),
- Sexual orientation,
- Marital status,
- Military status,
- Medical condition, or
- Veteran status.
If your employer terminates you for any of the above-named characteristics, you can complain to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or you can file a lawsuit. The EEOC and DFEH also impose legal penalties on employers for firing employees who report other types of discrimination or help with discrimination investigations that their coworkers initiate.
Firings Against Public Policy
As an employee, you have several legal rights. And as a California resident or resident of the United States, you might have several legal obligations to engage in civic duties. Employers who terminate employees for asserting their rights or engaging in civic duties commit wrongful termination in California. Terminations for the following reasons are firings against public policy:
- An employee filing a valid workers’ compensation claim,
- An employee reporting for jury duty,
- An employee reporting or refusing to engage in illegal activity in the workplace,
- An employee filing a claim regarding an employer’s violation of wage and hour laws,
- An employee reporting for military duty, and
- An employee complaining about safety violations in the workplace.
Speak to our experienced employment attorneys if you have lost your job for any of the above-listed reasons. We can help you take legal action with the right authorities and in the right venues.
Firings in Breach of Contract
While not required, some employers enter contracts with their employees that dictate how long the employee must remain in their position and limited grounds for termination. This contract can be written, oral, or implied. A collective bargaining agreement between your employer and a labor union might also give you rights against a frivolous termination.
Knowing whether you have rights under an implied employment contract can be tricky, but we can help you through that process. Your employer might be subject to the terms of an implied contract if its policies, its practices, the duration of your employment, or the nature of your professional advancement with your employer suggest a promise that you would be fired only for cause.
WARN Act Violations
The federal and California WARN Acts require certain employers planning mass layoffs or significant relocations to give affected employees at least 60 days’ notice of the changes. If your employer is subject to the WARN Act and did not give you adequate notification of a layoff, you have a right to damages.
Bibiyan Law Group Can Champion Your Rights
Any termination of employment can be devastating, but it is even worse when you are fired for illegal reasons. At Bibiyan Law Group, our large team of knowledgeable wrongful termination attorneys can make sure your employer does not get away with an unlawful firing.
Our legal team is on the cutting edge of the legal field to help ensure our clients have the best access to legal relief, and we are aggressive with unscrupulous employers. We are also well-known and well-respected among our clients and in the legal community. If you need a strong advocate, give us a call at 310-438-5555 or contact us online.