Employment in California is set on an “at-will” basis. This means that employees can leave a job at any time without providing notice. At the same time, employees can be dismissed without notice.
However, there are certain occasions when an employer cannot terminate the working relationship. Unlawful terminations are most commonly referred to as wrongful terminations.
Outlined below are some of the more common examples.
All workers in California are protected from discrimination and harassment. Factors such as age, race, gender, disability and sexuality cannot be held against workers. Employees also cannot be fired based on any protected characteristic.
So, if an employer terminates someone based on any of the characteristics mentioned above, then the termination is unlawful.
Termination for reporting unlawful conduct
There are certain conditions that employers must adhere to. For instance, employees in California are entitled to a minimum wage. They are also entitled to work in an environment that does not unnecessarily jeopardize their safety.
Workers can take a stand against unlawful behavior in the workplace by reporting it to the relevant authorities. If they are punished for doing so, then this is workplace retaliation. If they are fired for taking a stand against unlawful conduct at work, then this amounts to wrongful termination.
These are just some of the more common examples of wrongful termination, there are several other scenarios where this may apply. The best way to find out about your rights as a worker is to seek legal guidance. This will help ensure that you are not treated unfairly and find recourse if you have been.