In California, most employment is at-will. This means that employees may be fired or quit their job for almost any reason. Yet, there are times when a worker may be let go in California and be eligible to file a wrongful termination claim. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a wrongful termination claim under California law.
If a worker is employed with a company through an employment contract, it’s likely that the contract includes a clause about how the employer can only fire the worker for “good cause” or for specific reasons (such as use of illegal drugs or stealing from the company). If a worker is fired in violation of the terms of the contract, they may have a wrongful termination claim.
If a worker is fired for discriminatory reasons, they may have a claim for wrongful termination under California employment law. In California, a person may not be discriminated against due:
- Genetics (See CalGINA for more information or speak with a qualified business employment attorney)
- Citizenship status
- Marital status
- AIDS / HIV status
- Medical conditions
- Political beliefs or activities
- Military or veteran status
- Victims of domestic violence, stalking, or assault
This list is constantly expanding. For example, transgender rights are a hot topic in the California workplace. To ensure that you are on the right side of the law, consult with legal counsel.
Public Policy Violations
Employees are sometimes fired when they complain about an illegal activity taking place in the workplace or when they refuse to participate in either illegal or improper activity at the request of their employer. Employees may also have a wrongful termination claim if they are fired for exercising their legal rights.
Terminating someone’s employment is a necessary and fairly commonplace aspect of running any business. The key is to do so lawfully and to minimize the risk of a potential lawsuit. Contact experienced employment attorney Drew E. Pomerance to discuss further.