A wrongful termination is nothing short of shocking to those who go through it. The truth is that many who face wrongful terminations know that something isn't right. They may also feel discriminated against or have a nagging feeling that someone is "out to get them." And, what's worse, is that they may be right.
Wrongful termination occurs when a person has their job terminated in a way that is against the law. It could be a termination that violates discrimination laws or one that violates other terms of contracts or employment guidelines.
Some possible situations that may be a wrongful termination case include:
- Getting fired because of needing breaks during pregnancy
- Being fired for making a claim against an employer for sexual harassment
- Losing a job as a result of making a workers' compensation claim
- Getting fired despite a contract that guarantees employment for a certain time period
- Being terminated for your gender or religious background
Overall, employers usually hire "at will," which is presumed by California's laws. However, at-will employment doesn't mean that an employer can fire you for any reason they choose if that reason is illegal. In some cases, you'll be able to file a claim for wrongful termination, such as if you've been discriminated against, were retaliated against or were terminated in a way that violated public policies.
Employers should provide good documentation when they fire someone. They should document poor performance, policy violations and other reasons for terminating an employee. Without those, it's possible you may have a stronger case than your employer.