Just because California is an “at will” state doesn’t mean you can be fired for any reason. “At will” hiring just means that you don’t have a contract for a specific time period, not that you lose your rights under California employment law. If you are terminated for an illegal cause, you may be owed justice and compensation for wrongful termination.
What Is Considered Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination remains surprisingly common in California despite protections against it. Any time an employer fires an employee for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, it is considered unlawful termination. Even if your discharge was only partially motivated by unlawful reasons or if your employer simply did not follow termination procedures set out in an employee handbook or employment contract, you may have been wrongfully terminated.
Common Unlawful Causes For Termination
If you are fired for any of the following reasons, you may have a wrongful termination case.
- Political Affiliation
- Sexual Orientation
- Retaliation for Reporting Labor Code Violations, Health and Safety Violations, or Unpaid Wages and Overtime
- Taking Time Off for Jury Duty, Voting, or Family and Medical Leave
- Refusal to Enter an Unsafe Workplace
- Efforts to Unionize
- Filing for Worker’s Compensation
Can It Be Considered Wrongful Termination If I Quit?
Usually, you must be fired in order to claim wrongful termination. Quitting is considered leaving voluntarily. However, if you quit due to a hostile workplace environment that made continuing to work there impossible, you may still have a case under so-called “constructive termination” provisions. This is especially common in cases where you have been suffering from workplace harassment or discrimination, and your employer did nothing to stop the abuse. If you resigned due to a hostile workplace environment, you may still be entitled to damages due to unlawful termination.
How The Employment Attorneys At Wakeford Gelini Can Help You In Your Wrongful Termination Case
If you’ve been unlawfully terminated, you are entitled to wrongful termination damages, which an employment attorney can help you recover in court or in a mediated settlement. These can include economic losses, such as lost wages and benefits, and monetary damages for pain and suffering associated with your unfair dismissal. At Wakeford Gelini, our wrongful termination lawyers have years of experience fighting such unfair workplace practices. Set up a consultation with one of our experienced California employment lawyers today to find out how we may be able to help you recover maximum damages in your wrongful termination case.