Wrongful termination is a term that refers to a person who has been fired when they should not have been. For termination to be considered wrongful, an employer must violate a specific State or Federal law, regulation or constitutional provision.
In California, it is important to note that employment is considered “at-will” (unless there is an employment contract between the employee and employer). This means that an Employer can fire an employee for no reason or any reason at all. Similarly, an employee is free to leave his or her job at anytime. However, the law makes clear that even though employment may be considered at will, an employer cannot fire or terminate an employee for illegal reasons. Specifically, an employer cannot fire or terminate an employee for any of the following reasons:
Discrimination: Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of age, race, sex, national origin, pregnancy, disability, religion, sexual orientation and a variety of other protected classes. If an employee is terminated for any of these reasons, it is considered wrongful termination.
Furthermore an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a workplace complaint, complaining about unlawful conditions, or even asserting protected rights such as the right to file a worker’s compensation claim or the right to be free from sexual harassment. If an employer terminates an employee for retaliating or making a claim of sexual harassment, that is considered wrongful termination.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, contact the Stanley C. Franklin law firm where we can evaluate your claim and advise you of your rights.