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California has at-will employment, which means that most employees and employers can end the employment relationship whenever they want – and for pretty much any reason they want. However, there are some terminations that violate the law and, therefore, are considered to be “wrongful.” It can be difficult to know whether your employer fired you for a wrongful reason or not. If you’re concerned that your former employer violated your rights, you should never wait to consult a California Wrongful Termination Lawyer and let us evaluate your case. 

Common Reasons for Wrongful Termination

First, it is important to know which reasons are commonly considered to be wrongful under the law. Both state and federal laws protect employees against termination for several reasons. The three most common reasons are listed below:

  1. Discrimination – The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits any type of adverse employment action – including termination – based on protected characteristics of the employee. Such characteristics include race, national origin, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, religion, age (over age 40), disability, and more.
  2. Retaliation – According to the employee legal rights provided by the law, your employer cannot retaliate against you – including termination – for exercising those rights. Some rights for which you cannot be terminated include complaining of discrimination or harassment, requesting family or medical leave, filing a workers’ compensation claim, and more.
  3. Unlawful activity – Employees are not required to simply accept and go along with the unlawful conduct of their employers. An employer cannot fire you for reporting unlawful conduct (whistleblowing) or refusing to engage in or conceal unlawful activity of the company or management.

Some reasons for wrongful termination directly violate a law, while others violate the public policy of California or the United States. If you believe that you lost your job due to any of the above reasons – or related reasons – you should not delay speaking with an employment attorney.

Challenges in Proving Wrongful Termination

Even if you know why you were fired – for an unlawful reason – you should never expect your employer to admit that they wrongfully terminated you. Instead, employers know how to present other lawful reasons for termination that would qualify as lawful under the at-will employment doctrine.

This is why you want an experienced employment attorney on your side if you plan to raise a complaint of wrongful termination. Companies know how to protect themselves, and you should assume that your former employer has legal counsel and representation. For this reason, it is imperative that you also have proper legal representation when you stand up for your rights as an employee.

Consult with One of Our California Employment Law Attorneys Today

It can be challenging to know whether you were the victim of wrongful termination. Perhaps you simply have a bad feeling about how you lost your job and why – but you aren’t sure exactly what your employer did wrong. This is when you should speak with Mara Law Firm. Contact us for your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney David Mara who has more than 20 years of legal experience in employment law.

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