What to Know

FAQs on Wrongful Termination Claims

FAQ on Wrongful Termination Claims.  We represent employees in Los Angeles and everywhere else in California.

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated by your employer, call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your situation.

We are here to help, and your consultation with an attorney will be free, informative, and confidential.

We can help clients everywhere in California.

What is a Wrongful Termination?

Even though employment in California is presumed to be “at will,” allowing workers to be fired for any reason, there are still times when an employee is wrongfully terminated.

When this happens, an employee who is unjustly terminated can take legal action against their former employer and pursue compensation, front pay, back pay, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and other relief.

This article discusses some different claims available to an employee who has been unjustly terminated. To discuss your potential wrongful termination claims, consult with a California employment attorney for legal advice and representation.

In the state of California, several claims can be made with respect to wrongful termination, some of which are discussed below.

Breach of Contract

Some employment contracts promise continued employment for a specific time or may limit an employer’s ability to fire an employee. When an employer unjustly or unfairly terminates an employee by firing them in violation of the terms of the contract, there may be a claim for wrongful termination.

Employment contracts can be reached by way of a written or verbal agreement. Also, contract terms do not always need to be written in the employment contract but can be found in other company documents. For example, a company handbook containing a statement such as “employees will only be terminated for cause” might be considered an implied employment contract term.

It is also possible to find an “implied-in-fact” contract for ongoing employment depending upon the facts and circumstances. These may include performance reviews, merit raises, and company and industry policies and practices.

Another possibility is to bring a case for wrongful termination where an employer has behaved in bad faith, for example, where an employee is fired so the employer will not have to pay them a commission that they would otherwise get. If your employer is in breach of your contract, you can seek damages in respect of wages, benefits, and any other packages due to you as an employee.

Discrimination claims

It is a violation of California law for an employer to terminate an employee based on a protected characteristic, which includes:

AIDS/HIV Status

Age,

Ancestry

Being a victim of Domestic Violence, Stalking, or Assault,

Citizenship Status,

Gender,

Gender identity,

Gender expression,

Genetic information,

Medical condition,

Mental disability,

Military and veteran status,

National origin,

Physical disability,

Political Beliefs or Activities,

Pregnancy,

Race and color,

Religion,

Sex,

Marital status,

Sexual orientation

If you believe your employer or potential employer discriminated against you because of your membership in a protected class, you should contact an employment law attorney to discuss a potential case for wrongful termination and possible compensation for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, attorney fees, court costs, as well as potential punitive damages.

Retaliation Claims

Retaliation takes place when an employer takes negative (or adverse) action against you because you engaged in a “protected activity” and can happen either before or after being hired. One example of a “protected activity” would be filing a report with the Labor Commissioner (or informing your employer your will do so) or filing a lawsuit concerning unpaid wages, missed meal periods, or rest breaks. Another example is reporting unsafe or illegal workplace activities. Things that might be considered retaliation if done after engaging in a “protected activity” could include being transferred to a worksite farther away without cause, getting an unfair workload, being denied a raise, getting a bad performance review, reduced hours, or reduced pay, not getting hired, or getting hired but not given access to essential training which is typically provided to employees and required for your position. Of course, not everything is retaliation so your employer can discipline you or terminate you if you violate your company’s code of conduct or neglect your job duties.

For more information

For further information or to discuss your case, call us at 888-762-0297 and ask to speak with an employment law attorney.

When we know your situation better, we can advise you about your rights.

We offer a free consultation.

We take all cases on contingency. We also advance all costs - which are only reimbursed if we successfully recover for you.

We represent clients in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Orange County, and Northern and Southern California.

Last updated on August 4, 2022.

Related Articles

California Discrimination Attorney

Retaliation in the Workplace in California

Additional Resources

California Department of Industrial Relations - Laws that Prohibit Retaliation and Discrimination

U.S. Department of Labor - Retaliation

U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC