Can I Be Fired For No Reason in California?
Wrongful Termination Discrimination Attorneys in California
California is an at-will state, which means that an employer can fire you for any reason at any time, with or without cause. This means that if your boss doesn’t like your personality, if you run out of work, if they think you’re lazy, or if they just don’t need you anymore, they can fire you at any time.
Most employee handbooks now include a disclaimer about at-will employment. Most employee handbooks define at-will employment and ask employees to sign an acceptance of the company’s at-will status. At-will employees, however, have the right not to be terminated for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law.
Being an at-will employee does not give your employer all the reasons to fire you, and there are exceptions. An employer can’t terminate you for any illegal reason.
Some illegal reasons for terminating an employee in California include discrimination based on:
- Age (40+)
- Religious belief
- Sexual orientation
- You also cannot be fired for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Finally, you cannot be fired in retaliation for reporting your employer’s illegal activities (such as sexual harassment) or for participating in an investigation of illegal activity.
If you are fired for any of these reasons, it is considered wrongful termination and you may be entitled to sue the employer for discrimination.
There are also other occasions where an employer can’t easily fire an employee, such as if the employee has an employment contract with the employer or if the employee is a member of a union and is covered under a union collective bargaining agreement.
If you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, contact an experienced employment attorney in California to discuss your case. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a claim and, if so, what type of damages you may be entitled to recover.
People who have been degraded, wrongly terminated, harassed, or otherwise treated unlawfully have rights and options. Potter Handy, LLP represents individuals who have experienced workplace violations of employee rights.