According to the current employment laws in California, every employment agreement in the state is an at-will arrangement. Workers can leave their job at any time with consequences, and a company can terminate a worker for any reason or sometimes for no reason at all.
While your employer does not need an excuse to terminate you, they cannot fire you for an illegal reason. Wrongful terminations can still occur in at-will employment states, although the company may try to hide its misconduct.
What are two common ways that employers obfuscate the truth of what was clearly a wrongful termination?
They create internal records to justify the firing
Has your employer started taking issue with your job performance or writing you up for every tiny infraction, like walking in the door 90 seconds after your shift technically started?
Progressive discipline and performance improvement plans are sometimes away for a company to disguise a recent wrongful termination as a justified firing. When changes in your employer’s attitude about your job occur after you file a complaint or ask for disability accommodations, the timing could be reason to believe that a write-up or performance review is suspect.
They let you go with a group of others
Sometimes, companies will restructure the business, possibly when transitioning to new management. Restructuring and downsizing can be a way for a company to hide a termination that would otherwise clearly be inappropriate given the circumstances.
Recognizing when your employer’s decision to terminate you is a violation of your rights can help you fight back and hold them accountable for that wrongful termination in court.