Generally speaking, California employees are presumed to be employed “at-will.” According to Cal. Labor Code § 2922, this means that employees without contracts:
- Can be terminated for any reason or no reason
- Need no notice for termination
Although it may seem like your employer has complete freedom to fire you, this is untrue. State and Federal laws, such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protect against wrongful termination.
An employer may have the right to discharge an employee for many lawful reasons. While most employees are “at-will”, there are unlawful reasons for firing an employee. Some unlawful reasons for terminating an employee include:
- Exercising a right such as filing a workers compensation claim, taking family leave, using sick time, or taking breaks
- Reporting a violation such as a health or safety concern
- Performing a mandatory obligation such as serving on jury duty or in the military
- Whistleblowing or refusing to engage in an illegal activity
- Discrimination based on an employee’s protected status, such as race, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or even political affiliation
Employees who believe that they were terminated illegally must identify evidence showing that the employer’s reason was both illegal and a main factor for the termination. Evidence can include comments by the supervisor or manager involved that suggest a bias. Some tips for collecting evidence include:
- Documenting written evidence, including emails, text messages, or slack messages
- Obtaining relevant records such as pay stubs, performance reports, or review notes
- Gathering the information of potential witnesses who may have observed any illegal activity
Ghuman Law Firm provides consultations to terminated employees to determine if they have the necessary evidence to successfully pursue a termination claim. We know how to use the legal system to get results for our clients. In taking your case, Ghuman Law Firm will carefully document your claim and pursue it through all appropriate legal venues.