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Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination is a sad reality sometimes when entering the workforce. California law protects employees who have been wrongfully terminated because of their employer’s personal interest or retaliation. A person whose been terminated not because of their job performance should consider contacting a wrongful termination attorney.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee unlawfully. This may involve illegal discrimination, retaliation for a protected action, or breach of contract. An employer who fires an employee for unjust reasons is violating California law and statutes.

Getting fired is always difficult, and the terminated employee often feels the decision was unjustified. However, not every termination that seems unfair constitutes wrongful termination. Most employees may be terminated “at-will.” This means that employers generally have the right to fire you at any time and without a good reason.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee unlawfully. This may involve illegal discrimination, retaliation for a protected action, or breach of contract.

Los Angeles Attorneys for Wrongful Termination Claims, CA

Your work contract should promise you continued employment for a certain length of time, or limits your employer’s ability to fire you without good cause. It is your employer’s responsibility to uphold this contact. If your employer fires you in violation of your terms of the contract, you may be entitled to compensation.

Protect yourself and your career. Contact an experienced wrongful termination attorney at Yarian & Associates, APC. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC are practiced in employment law. We want to protect your employee rights and deter future company violations in the future. Do not let yourself be slighted. Contact an attorney at Yarian & Associates, APC, we file claims throughout the greater Los Angeles County and Tulare County area and surrounding communities including Visalia, Los Angeles, Irvine, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Glendale.

Call (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation today.

Overview of Wrongful Termination in California


When Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination?

California does not have any direct wrongful termination laws. In California, most employment terminations are considered to be “at will.” The term “at will” employment means that an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason, without warning, as long as the reason is not considered illegal.

So what is considered wrongful termination in an at-will state? Employers who terminate an employee illegally can be considered wrongful termination, and the employee may pursue compensation.

There are three main types of wrongful termination claims: discrimination, retaliatory discharge, and termination in violation of contract terms.

Discrimination as Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Suit

Local, state and federal laws prohibit employers from terminating an employee due to discrimination. California law lists protected classes for employees of different ethnicities, religions, disabilities and more. Termination based on one of these protected classifications may give rise to a wrongful discharge claim.

In California it is unlawful to terminate an employee based on the following:

  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth, Breastfeeding
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • Age
  • Medical Condition
  • National origin
  • Mental or physical
  • Gender expression

Retaliatory Discharge

State and federal laws protect employees who report employers for unlawful activity. Employees have the right to report certain violations to their superiors at work or to government agencies. It is also unlawful to be terminated because an employee pursued claims or cooperated in government investigations.

A retaliation claim is based on a specific legal provision that prohibits employers from firing employees for reporting illegal actions or filing a complaint. California law has many potential bases for retaliation claims for employees.

A few wrongful termination examples based on retaliation include, but are not limited to:

  • Complaining about sexual harassment
  • Complaining about discrimination
  • Complaining about illegal wage and hour practices
  • Requesting to take family leave
  • Requesting to take medical leave
  • Taking time off to serve on a jury
  • Filing a worker’s compensation claim

Some other common examples are reports of violations of labor law, unsafe practices, and violations of environmental protection laws. An employee who is terminated in retaliation for this type of protected activity may have a claim for wrongful termination.

Termination in Breach of Contract

Employers who have “at-will” employment may be terminated at any time unless it is considered unlawful. However, some employees who have established termination contracts and internal policies do not apply to this rule.

An employer with an employee who has a contract that states when and how he or she may be terminated must uphold this. For example, if your contract states “for cause” termination only, and the employer terminates you without cause, it may be considered illegal.

Another example of termination in breach of contract is if the company handbook states that an employee must receive three written warnings before termination. If the employee has only received two warnings before being fired, he or she might have a case for wrongful termination.


Damages for Wrongful Termination Cases

Wrongful termination is a civil courts case. If you file a civil wrongful termination lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for losses caused by the termination. Compensation in civil courts is called damages.

Some damages a person can recover if you successfully file a wrongful termination claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Punitive damages
  • Emotional distress
  • Attorney fees

Understand that wrongful termination claims have a statute of limitations. A person who wants to file a wrongful termination claim must do so in a span of two years after fire. If he or she does not file a claim within this deadline, the courts will bar the claim.


Additional Resources

Wrongful Termination – Visit Workplace Fitness, a non-profit organization whose mission is to give free access to comprehensive, unbiased information about worker’s rights without legal jargon. Read some frequently asked questions regarding wrongful termination such as what is the average settlement for wrongful termination, when can you sue for wrongful termination, and how do you prove wrongful termination.

Wrongful Termination Law – Visit HG.org, a resource for legal professionals. See what wrongful termination laws dictate to be a lawful or unlawful fire. Read more on what “at-will” employment means and what kind of lawyer you should hire for wrongful termination claims.


An Experienced Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help

If you were fired and feel you have a wrongful termination case because of discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract or company policy, talk with an employment law attorney.  The wrongful termination lawyers at Yarian & Associates, APC are prepared to stand by your side.

Proving wrongful termination is a complicated matter. Normally an unlawful fire case can incorporate federal, state, and even local law. You need an attorney who is experienced in employment law and wrongful termination. Our attorneys are practiced in litigation and treat our clients with compassion. No person should be terminated illegally. Find help today with Yarian & Associates, APC, we accept clients throughout the greater California Central District Court area and nearby cities including Visalia, Glendale, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Fresno, Los Angeles, Irvine, and Long Beach.

Call (844) 291-1911 today or schedule an appointment online to set up a free consultation appointment to discuss your rights and options.



This article was last updated on June 20th, 2018.

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