Employment in California is “at will”, which means you can get fired at any time and for any reason. However, both federal and state laws provide employees with certain protections against being let go – and if employers use these reasons to fire employees, they can be sued for wrongful termination. If your employer has wrongfully terminated you from your job, contact your Anaheim wrongful termination attorney at 818-610-8800 for a free, initial consultation.
What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in California?
There are many reasons why an employer can fire an employee, and each case is different, with varying reasons for dismissal. In California, you cannot be fired for discrimination against protected characteristics, in violation of a written or oral contract (for example a contract that says you are guaranteed work for one year, but you get fired after two months), or as retaliation for exercising your workers’ rights.
Certain characteristics are protected by both Federal and State laws. These cannot be used as the reason for firing an employee, and are:
- National origin
- Gender identity or expression
- Age (40 years or older)
- Genetic information
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- AIDS or HIV status
- Medical condition
- Military or veteran status
- Political activity or affiliation
- Being a victim of:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
If you are covered by any of these characteristics, and your employer has fired you because of this, contact your Anaheim wrongful termination lawyer at JML Law at 818-610-8800 for a confidential discussion about we can bring a wrongful termination lawsuit to your former employer.
California law also makes it illegal for an employer to fire or penalize their employees for exercising their rights to time off for work. If you have been fired for taking any of the following types of leave off, you may be able to sue for wrongful dismissal:
- Military leave – you have the right to take up to five years’ leave to serve in the military, and your job will still be there on your return.
- Members of the US Reserves, National Guard and Naval Militia have the right to take leave in order to take part in training etc
- Jury duty – employees in California cannot be fired for taking part in jury service
- Voting leave – employees in California can take up to two hours paid leave to participate in elections. They cannot be fired for exercising this right.
- Family and medical leave (FMLA) – this gives the right to unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks a year for the care of a family member under certain circumstances
- New parent leave – gives new parents up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for their new child
- Pregnancy disability leave – eligible employees can take up to 4 months’ pregnancy disability leave
- Other protected leaves include:
- Participation in a child’s school/daycare activities
- Domestic violence leave
- Crime victim leave
- Bone marrow or organ donor leave
- Alcohol or drug rehabilitation leave
In California, it is also illegal for your employer to fire you for the following reasons:
- Filing worker’s comp
- Acting as a witness in a co-worker’s comp case
- Filing safety complaints to a government agency, such as OSHA
- Refusing to do work that violates the State’s safety codes
- Refusing to participate in illegal activities
- Disclosing wage or working conditions to others
- Refusing to disclose medical information
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation with an Expert Anaheim Attorney Today
If you have been fired for any of these reasons, you can sue your former employer for wrongful termination. Schedule a free initial consultation with your local Anaheim wrongful termination attorney at 818-610-8800 – and remember what you tell us will be in complete confidence.
We have a successful track record of winning financial and punitive damages for our clients who have been wrongfully terminated, both in Anaheim and across Orange County. No matter if the case is settled out of court or in front of a judge, we will work our hardest to represent you and your interests. Financial damages cover lost wages, emotional distress, and attorney fees, while punitive damages punish employers who wrongfully terminate employees.
Get Your Questions Answered. Contact Our Lawyers.
Every case is unique and needs to be evaluated by our experienced lawyers. If you have been injured in a work-related accident, give us a call at 818-610-8800 or send us an email to schedule a free initial consultation. There is no risk to meet with us. We get paid only if we win your claim.