You have probably heard about California’s at-will employment status, which grants employers the ability to fire employees whenever they see fit. What you may not know is that even though employers can fire their employees at any time and for almost any reason, they are prohibited from firing employees for an unlawful reason. The word “unlawful” is key here, as there are many reasons that may seem wrong or unfair, but are still perfectly legal.
An example would be if your company is making cutbacks to reduce costs, and they choose to terminate your employment even though there are other employees with less experience or fewer years at the company who are kept on the payroll. This may be unfair, but it is not unlawful, and your legal options against your employer will be very limited. However, if you are fired for an unlawful reason, you could file a claim against your employer for wrongful termination, which could see you compensated and even get you your job back.
Of course the most important part of claiming wrongful termination is proving that you were actually fired for an unlawful reason, such as discrimination or retaliation. Our wrongful termination website can give you more information about what constitutes unlawful termination, so you can more accurately determine if your termination was illegal.
Unfortunately, even if you have good reason to believe that your termination was wrongful, it can still be difficult to prove. For example, if you claim that you were fired as a form of racial discrimination, your claim may be your word against your employers unless you can produce evidence such as documents or witness testimony that shows your employer engaging in racial discrimination. Enlisting the aid of an attorney can help you understand the case from a legal perspective and give you a stronger foundation to prove that you were wrongfully terminated.