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What makes a seemingly simple termination unlawful?

To most people, getting fired from a job always feels wrong or unfair, but in many of these cases, the termination is perfectly legal. Other times, your boss may have acted unlawfully when letting you go from your job. The problem for most is knowing when a firing is legal and when it is a case of wrongful termination.

Consider your feelings after your termination. Did you feel embarrassed or perhaps even hurt? These emotions are normal and may not indicate any wrongdoing on the part of your employer. However, if you felt wronged, blindsided or even ambushed, you may want to dig a little deeper, especially if your job performance was exemplary throughout your employment.

An attorney may be able to help you investigate the situation for evidence of wrongful termination. In the meantime, you may find clarity by learning more about what makes a termination wrongful. Proving your case is challenging in at-will employment states like California, but it is not impossible. Examples of wrongful termination in at-will states include:

  • Getting fired for discriminatory reasons like your race, religion or age
  • Getting fired in violation of an employment agreement or contract
  • Getting fired in retaliation for your involvement in protected activities like whistleblowing cases or harassment claims

Although it can be difficult to prove wrongful termination, patience and careful preservation of evidence can help with your claim. For example, save copies of your employee handbook and any other documentation about your termination. Your attorney may be able to use this evidence to strengthen your claim and build a successful case. You may have a stronger claim than you may have initially believed.

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