Wrongful Termination: What Is It and How Does Employment Law Work in California? | Employee Rights Law Firm

Jun 3, 2022
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Wrongful Termination: What Is It and How Does Employment Law Work in California?

When most people think of the term “wrongful termination,” they imagine a situation in which an employee is fired without cause. However, this is not always the case. In California, there are a number of different ways that an employee can be wrongfully terminated.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that California is an “at-will” state when it comes to employment. This means that, in general, either the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

For example, an employer cannot terminate an employee in a way that violates their contract. If an employee has a written contract that states they can only be terminated for cause, then the employer must have a valid reason for terminating them. Otherwise, it would be considered a breach of contract.

Similarly, an employer cannot terminate an employee in a way that violates public policy. Public policy is a broad category, but it generally includes things like discrimination, retaliation, and whistle-blowing. An employer who tries to terminate an employee for one of these reasons may be sued for wrongful termination.

Finally, an employer cannot terminate an employee in a way that violates their civil rights. This includes things like race, religion, gender, and disability. If an employer tries to terminate an employee for one of these reasons, they may be sued for wrongful termination.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.

Top 5 Case Types of Wrongful Termination

  1. Retaliation for reporting illegal activity or sexual harassment
  2. Fired for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  3. Fired for being pregnant
  4. Fired because of their race or ethnicity
  5. Fired in retaliation for whistle-blowing

In one recent case, a woman was fired from her job after she reported sexual harassment by her boss. The woman sued her employer for wrongful termination and the case went to trial. The jury found in favor of the woman and awarded her $1 million in damages.

This is just one example of a wrongful termination case that went to trial. There are many other cases in which employees have been wrongfully terminated and have successfully sued their employers. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your case.

How California’s Employment Law Works

Employment law in California is designed to protect employees from wrongful termination and other forms of discrimination. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the primary law that governs employment in California. Under the FEHA, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.

Employees who have been wrongfully terminated in California may be able to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH is responsible for investigating claims of discrimination and enforcing the FEHA. If the DFEH finds that an employer has violated the FEHA, they may order the employer to take corrective action, such as reinstating the employee or providing them with back pay.

Employees may also file a lawsuit against their employer for wrongful termination. In order to succeed in a wrongful termination lawsuit, employees must be able to prove that they were fired for an illegal reason. Employees who win their lawsuit may be awarded damages, such as lost wages and emotional distress.

Wrongful termination cases can be complex, so it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney.

Wrongful termination is a serious issue that can have a major impact on an individual’s life. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. Employees who have been wrongfully terminated in California may be able to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or file a lawsuit against their employer. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your case.