In California, most employees are considered “at-will”, meaning that the employer may terminate them at any time for almost any reason. Employees are also free to quit.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is formally terminated or forced by intolerable working conditions or a hostile work environment to quit for an unlawful reason.
A termination may be considered unlawful for any number of reasons, including when the employee is fired…
- Because of the employee’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, or age
- For complaining about unlawful discrimination or harassment
- For filing a wage or hour claim, or claim related to overtime
- For filing a workers’ compensation claim
- For complaining about unsafe working conditions or work practices
- For whistleblowing or refusing to perform an illegal act
- In breach of an employment contract or handbook
- For taking time off to vote
- For taking time off to serve in a jury or testify in court
- For taking time off to perform military service
Each termination must be evaluated on its own particular facts.
Whether you are an employee or employer, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced and knowledgeable employment attorney if a termination is being considered or has already occurred. Contact our office today to learn more about your rights and options.