• Corey Hall

Was I wrongfully terminated?

If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you’ve just been terminated. I would also like to guess and say that you’re confused as to why you’ve been terminated. You go to work every day, you’re always on time, you adequately perform your duties, and you’ve probably haven’t been written up. Your termination feels wrong, and it most likely is wrong. Thankfully, California has been known to protect its employees from wrongful termination.




What is wrongful termination?


Wrongful termination is when your employer fires you illegally. This is often done maliciously.

If you are wrongfully terminated in California, then you have the right to sue for damages.


There are many reasons why your termination could be considered wrongful. Read along to learn more about why your termination may have been illegal.


Click the link to navigate to a specific wrongful termination reason


  1. Retaliation for reporting Sexual Harassment

  2. Retaliation for taking Family Leave, Medical Leave, Pregnancy Leave, or Disability Leave

  3. Whistleblowing - Retaliation for reporting your employer’s illegal activity

  4. Retaliation for reporting your employer’s violation of labor laws

  5. Discrimination


Retaliation for reporting Sexual Harassment


Being sexually harassed is wrong, and is considered a form of discrimination. Your employer has the duty to prevent sexual harassment.


If you’ve been sexually harassed and report it to your employers, then they must take steps in preventing any further sexual harassment. You can’t be fired for reporting this. Many times, the perpetrator of sexual harassment in the workplace is a supervisor or manager. Simply put, they want vengeance after being reported for sexual harassment.


If you’ve been suddenly fired after reporting sexual harassment, then you have the right to demand justice. (1)


Retaliation for taking Family Leave, Medical Leave, Pregnancy Leave, or Disability Leave


California law states that you can’t be fired for taking family leave, medical leave, pregnancy leave, or disability leave. California law also states that you can’t be fired for requesting leave.


Not only are you protected when you take or want to take CFRA or FMLA leave, but you are protected when you want to use your accrued Paid Sick Leave to seek a diagnosis for an illness, seeking care or treatment for an existing health condition, or seeking preventative care for yourself or for your family member.


If you are fired within 30 days of requesting leave, then the law actually presumes your employer guilty of unlawful retaliation. The burden of proof falls unto them to prove that your termination had nothing to do with this request. Labor Code section 246.5 (2)


Whistleblowing - retaliation for reporting your employer’s illegal activity


If you report your employer for breaking the law whether they’re in violation of federal or state laws, such as laws governed by OSHA, The California Board of Medicine, or The California Department of Real Estate, they can’t terminate your employment.


California Law protects you for reporting your employer for violating the law. Labor Code Section 1102.5 (3)


Retaliation for reporting violations of California wage and hour laws


Let’s face it, your employer sucks, they may be in violation of wage and hour laws due to unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, or unpaid meal breaks and rest breaks.


You can’t be terminated for complaining to your employer or reporting your employer for these violations. You can’t be terminated for exercising your entitlement to the rights given to you by the California Labor Code. Labor Code section 98.6 (4)


Discrimination


Under California law you are protected by FEHA (5) from discrimination based on:


  • Race

  • Color

  • National Origin

  • Ancestry

  • Sex, gender - including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or any other relation medical conditions.

  • Gender identity, gender expression

  • Religion

  • Creed

  • Age (40 and over)

  • Disability whether it be mental disability or physical disability

  • Genetic Information

  • Medical Condition

  • Marital Status

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Military or Veteran Status


All of these are considered protected classes. If you are fired for reasons pertaining to your protected class, then that is considered wrongful termination.



Contact us if you’ve been wrongfully terminated in California


Our Orange County employment law attorneys are well versed in wrongful termination cases.


Reach out to us by clicking here

By calling us now at (949) 203-1682

Or by filling out the Contact Form!


Sources

  1. Workplace Sexual Harassment https://oag.ca.gov/workplace-sexual-harassment

  2. Labor Code Section 246.5 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=246.5.&lawCode=LAB

  3. Labor Code Section 1102.5 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1102.5&lawCode=LAB

  4. Labor Code Section 98.6 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB&sectionNum=98.6

  5. FEHA https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/employment/#whoBody


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