Sudden loss of employment can be devastating for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that while your income has abruptly stopped, your bills continue to pour in. While employers in California can choose to fire their employees for any reason they see fit at any time, these reasons must be fair and legal under California law. Individuals who have recently had their employment terminated may not realize that their unemployment was retaliatory, or may not know that such employment termination is illegal.
A woman in Rhode Island recently received justice for wrongful termination that she suffered back in December 2013. She claimed that she was fired because she discovered financial irregularities within the Urban League of Rhode Island concerning federal funds. A month after she was fired, she sued her former employers at Rhode Island Housing for violating whistleblower laws. The suit was recently settled, as the company reinstated the woman in her Deputy Director position, and offered her the same salary she was receiving before the termination.
While this case happened in Rhode Island, Californians can easily find themselves in a similar situation in which their employers fire them in retaliation for discovering questionable business dealings, or even for reporting sexual harassment. The fear of losing your job for speaking up about something can be crippling, but employment should not be based on fear. People should enjoy their work and love their jobs, not dread the prospect of working because they are afraid of their employers.
You have the right to a safe workplace free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. If you believe that your working conditions are unsafe, or if you have been fired in retaliation for actions that are perfectly legal, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: Providence Journal, “Corrigan reinstated as R.I. Housing deputy director, will drop wrongful termination suit,” W. Zachary Malinowski, May 22, 2014