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California Wrongful Termination

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California wrongful termination means that an employee in California has been fired or laid off for reasons that violate the employee's legal rights. If wrongful termination law has been violated in the firing or laying off of an employee, that employee may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against his or her employer.

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California Wrongful Termination and Employment At-Will


wrongfulterminationlaw4.jpg" California, like many other states, is an at-will state, meaning employers can discipline or fire employees at will (that is, without either needing or providing a reason to the employee). That said, there are situations in which the firing of an employee could be considered wrongful termination. This includes situations in which the employer is discriminating against the employee on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, religion, national origin or gender identity. For example a woman cannot be fired simply because she is a woman.

Employees may also have an implied contract with their employer that could prevent the employer from firing the employee without just cause. These implied contracts may be informal and it is up to the court to determine if such a condition existed. The court bases this decision on a variety of factors including promises of job security, the employer's employee handbook or policies, and job performance evaluations.

Finally, employees cannot be fired when the termination is based on a reason that is contrary to public policy. Firing an employee for refusing to do something illegal, for example, could be considered wrongful termination. Employers are also prohibited from firing, disciplining or retaliating against any employee who files a complaint with the government about illegal activities on the employer's part.

California Employment Law

California labor laws that protect employees are covered in the California Fair Employment And Housing Act. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the state organization charged with investigating allegations of discrimination on the job. In many cases, employees must file a complaint either with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, the federal organization responsible for investigating employment complaints) before filing a lawsuit.

There may also be local laws that prevent employers from firing or disciplining employees for a number of reasons.

California Employee Law and Independent Contractors

wrongfulterminationlaw.jpg In California, job protections do not apply to independent contractors; however, it is not enough that an employer classify someone as an independent contractor. The determination of whether someone is an independent contractor is based on how the worker is treated. This includes examining whether the worker has control over his own work methods and is paid by the job. Any worker who is called an independent contractor but is treated as an employee is likely protected by California employment law.



California Wrongful Termination Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered from Wrongful Termination in California, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a California Employment lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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CALIFORNIA WRONGFUL TERMINATION LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

One Strike You’re Out: Wrongful Termination
One Strike You’re Out: Wrongful Termination
October 1, 2013
Rialto, CA Juan believes he was wrongfully terminated: he didn’t show up for work one day because he was in jail - a situation obviously out of his control. His employer fired Juan because he was “unreliable” but he had never even been late for work. Is that fair [READ MORE]

Former Deputy Fights California Wrongful Termination
Former Deputy Fights California Wrongful Termination
August 29, 2013
San Bernardino, CA A former sheriff’s deputy who claims he was unjustly fired by San Bernardino County for taking too much time off work to care for his ailing mother appears to be headed for a California wrongful termination settlement. Travis Bauer alleges he was unjustly targeted by his superiors and subsequently fired, whereas his former employer maintains Bauer was given to poor job performance and simply was given to a habit of calling in sick [READ MORE]

New Wage and Hour Law Passed
New Wage and Hour Law Passed
July 29, 2013
Los Angeles, CA A new wage and hour labor law, AB 442, has been passed by the Senate Judiciary recently, which allows liquidated damages for wage and hour violations to be recovered without a court action [READ MORE]


CaliforniaLaborLawNews.com

READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Carmen Guzman
on
I have been at my job for a year and 1/2. There is an employee here that does not like me and is constantly attacking me. My boss is a very nice woman and everyone knows this and they practically walk all over her. This woman that does not like me is constantly running into her office complaining about me and they are fed up. I don't know if with me, or her?
I do my job and mind my own business. I feel I am being targeted and I think I might be let go when I have not done anything except exist in the eyes of someone who does not like me. This person is putting poisin about me in everyone's mind and because she has been here for a very long time and is a good worker my superior appears to be taking her side rather than me.

Posted by
Mark Jiminez
on
I was called on the phone by an assistant manager and was disciplined on a false claim made by a coworker (i have witnesses who can attest that this claim was false). The manager who called me was neither on the premises or "on the clock" to fact check or investigate that this claim was factual before proceeding to address it as such.

I went to my store manager my following shift and made a complaint of harassment and requested a meeting with The parties involved to resolve the conflict.

My manager set up a meeting that would take place two days later. Leaving me to work in an environment that I felt was hostile. On the day of the proposed meeting my manager stepped out to lunch and never returned. He went home for the day. The meeting was fictitious. I was the only one expecting it. I prepared for it. He never told The other parties involved. I felt neglected and mismanaged by my store manager. I took my next 3 shifts off and used my california sick pay to do so. Those shifts were a total of 14 hours. I was feeling emotionally distressed and was having anxiety at the thought of working around people I could not trust.

I then followed the companies employee handbook that was given to me 7 years earlier at my orientation with the company. The next step to take was to contact HR. I was also advised by others in management positions at other store locations to do so.

I contacted HR and made it aware that I had not filed a complaint in this manner before and was unaware of the process. I told her I would be returning to work the very next day and felt relieved that someone was finally going to take me serious.

I did not hear from HR for a week. All the while reporting to work not knowing what I can or cannot say. I was also wondering if the other parties have been made aware of my claim with HR. I was made aware that in fact they had been. All the while I'm clueless as to what is taking place because I have not received any updates from HR. I was now feeling more anxiety than before.

So I emailed HR and requested that I speak to a superior as is instructed in our employee handbook. I called in to work on my next shift as I was scheduled to work a full 8 alongside the assistant manager who I felt harassed by.

The next day I recieve a call from a higher ranked HR official. She was very rude. She made two false claims in attempts to cover up the neglicience of the Regional HR rep. Who I feel was mishandling my case.

I missed work that night as well as I felt sick to my stomach that I have went this high up and each individual had not taken me seriously and neglected me. All I wanted from the beginning was to resolve the conflict while the manager was present.

I was put on "suspension pend" due to events. That is the term we use for absences and/or tadries. When I asked for the dates of the events I was being charged for, I was not given any.I was told to contact HR. for further details.

I did just that. However, I had to leave HR a voicemail because my call went answered. I left emails and called them for 3 weeks. Requesting updates and the details of suspension. All went unanswered.

Then I got phone call and was told I was terminated for not showing up to work when I was put back on schedule. I was not made aware of my schedule because for all I knew I was still suspended and every attempt to get answers and updates were made to no avail.

I then called the District Manager and explained to him the situation and he set me up with a meeting. This meeting would involve my store manager, our loss prevention rep and our assistant District manager.

I was the first to arrive to this meeting a the Asst.D.M office. He opened the door for me. And had me sit down. He then a few minutes later apologized and asked me to wait outside for a minute. Then the L.P rep showed up and was let in followed by my manager a few minutes later. I waited outside another 15 mins or so. They were building there case against me and throwing out any discrepancies on their part. I asked several times to see the list of events I was charged for during my initial suspension And the updated list with my no call no show when put back on schedule.

At the very end of the meeting I was told that unfortunately they had not the power change the outcome of my termination. They handed me my papers and I was told to fill out an associate dispute resolution form. I was very upset and realized I still had not been given copies of my events. I now demanded to see them.

I was given a sheet that showed 3. The last date being a holiday so it counts as two. That would put me at 4. This sheet was checkboxed as Written and final Written warning.

Elsewhere on this sheet reads:

Statement of company policy on this subject: AR 4.2: Two events warrant a verbal warning, 4 events warrant a written warning, 6 events warrant a final written warning, 7 events warrant further disciplinary action up to and including termination. Unauthorized absences around "key Event Days" will result in two (2) events.

I was fired for the no call no show and another no call no show they pulled from December while I was working under another manager. I had worked 5 years for him before they shuffled management around to new locations. This no call no show should have been reflected on my list of events at the no. 1 spot. Events remain on calendar for an exact year to the date of offense at which they then fall off again.
It was not on the list because me and my previous manager worked that particular incident out and he was not going to hold me accountable for it. My new manager went digging for something. Sometime Throughout this whole ordeal I realized that companies can pretty much harass and retaliate however they want as long as the victim does not belong in a protected class of people. It's a shame. This company is Smart&Final. I gave them 7 hard years of physical labor and I was the best at my position. Is there anything or anyone that can help?

Posted by
Steven
on
At a private school I was terminated as a teacher for a Halloween costume. This was despite the fact that it was not the costume the Superintendent said it was, but a giant spider on my back and a specter mask. The picture was posted on my FB page and was taken by employees at the school. The kids used their imagination and called it something else (slenderman) but in no way was that the intent.

Posted by
Stephen Davis
on
I was fired for trying to contact a co worker off hours to get to know her. My work was never in question, and co workers other than her will vet me.

Posted by
Jayme Nicole Simmons
on
I dislocated my shoulder back in July 2015 and the doctors said not to work for the next five days and to follow up with a doctor again before returning to work when I went in for a follow up was told not to work for another five days or I would further damage my shoulder I reported what my doctor told me to my manager and the owner of the business and gave them the doctors excuses I was surprised when they handed them back to me and said okay they would find someone to cover my shifts however when I reported back to work the day before I was to return so that I could check the schedule I was told I was fired. When I asked for my termination letter I was denied and told that I had quit they didn't fire me

Posted by
Teresa Franklin
on
I was fired from part time job because a minor stated he got jump in the van on Wednesday , girl minor stated she got choked and a boy minor tried to put his. Hand down her. The minors didn't inform tell me and my coworker this happen . Another noticed a black eye on Friday and when the minors said something. Both minors where seen by at least four staff .

Posted by
Kenneth b
on
Well I was supposed to start my delivery shift at 5pm Sunday. I was so "out of it" I felt like I was dying, could not catch my breath, passing out when I stood up. I could barely text and communicate with my company. Dispatch texted me a delivery and I texted them letting them know I am having a serious health issue but am trying to pull it together". My boss calls and begins grilling me, "where are you?, what's eta...doesn't care if I need to go to ER, just asked about delivery status and pressuring me to commit to somehow sucking it up and doing the 8 hour shift (kind of irresponsible if I'm passing out). I asked him to give me another .30 minutes to feel better, he said "just come pick up your Check tomorrow. Well tomorrow came and I was in bad shape and was taken to ER where I was diagnosed with congenial heart failure and my heart was damaged up to 80% pumping 20-25% of the required blood my body needs. My legs were swollen from the tips of my toes all the way to the top of my thighs my lungs were collecting fluid as well. I had been driving for them since September and had missed 3-4 day total 2 days were legit car problems my boss helped me pay for but the other 2 days I called in sick

FYI it's a medical marijuana delivery job. But he runs his companies legit out of his cash for gold office.

Posted by
m clifford
on
i have worked at my company for about 45 days and have had favoritism from a former manager who never gave me hours she has since been fired and i started getting more hours but a facility closed and they moved a manager over and my hours were cut. what can i do

Posted by
William Lueckfeld
on
I have worked for this company for 27 years, I had to take 90 days as disability for a operation to replace my right knee. The time frame was from 10 July to 11 Oct. 2015. When I returned I was given my layoff paperwork and terminated. I do have benefits coming in a severance package, if I do not take legal action against them and sign a waiver to this effect. I was still on disability when the paperwork was generated and terminated. I also thought a company could not release an employee on disability. This company also advised the layoff was due to lack of orders received but in Sept. they transferred a Sr. emp. to the central US to protect his position and laid off others in the dept. that made much less. Do I have any legal rights.

Posted by
Febe Bonilla
on
I was six months pregnant when I was let go due to "financial difficulties". About six weeks before, a full time was hired. My desk/computer were taken from me and I was moved to a small nook of a back office and I had to share a desk. Although I had only commuted to work three days I would always go to work at least four days a week sometimes even five days.
I had been offered a full time numerous times but due to the distance from work I didn't want to commit to 5 days. My home is 85 miles from my old work. I had to take the metro, drive, walk a total of five hours a day from/to work. I would work 9 hours everyday at least 4 days a week and Fridays I would at least try to work 4 hours making it full time.
Months before my employer had agreed to let me work from home one day a week due to changes with my son's school schedule.
When I got pregnant I was told I had a high risk pregnancy. I emailed my employee if I could start working that one day from work a month before we had agreed due to my pregnancy and he never replied. Instead my desk and hours were cut.
I had a lot of stress at work but even then I never complained.
No one else was let go until 5 months later for the same reason but another employee was hired full time plus another one to come in once a week.
In the almost four years I worked there I went from $8.00 to $15.00. Other employees only got a raise once in 20 years. I was first hired to answer phones and do preps with clients but I soon advanced to doing new cases, appeals and was in charge of part of advertising.
I was late no more than 5 times in the almost four years I worked there and it was only due to mechanical problems with the train and only once was it more than 15 minutes late. I had made sure I got the earliest train I could get to give me at least 45 minutes just in case there was an traffic or a problem with the train. I would leave my house at 4:30 am and got home at around 7:00 every day. I was very committed to my work, responsible and rarely made mistakes.
I always gave my 100%. There was no reason for him to let me go other than me being pregnant but he said it was for financial difficulties. I would have stayed if he had offered me a lower pay but instead he hired someone else to replace me.
I was let go October 15. I didn't look for an attorney before because I had so much stress at work, I went to the ER three times and I felt like I didn't need more stress at the time. I had chosen a doctor/hospital near the train station (45 minutes away from home) because I wasn't expecting to stop working until I went into labor.
Once I was let go, I tried looking for a doctor closer to home but because I was past 6 months and I had a high risk pregnancy no doctor wanted to take me as a new patient. I went without a doctor for months. It was a very stressful time for me.
Do I have a case?

Posted by
Jason
on
Skin Cancer. and all other outside of work illnesses, read. if you have any illnesses that will cause you to be out of work for longer then 4 days, i recommend having your doctor sign a FMLA leave note. this will allow you to take off work, and also your protected from any wrong doings from your employer. don't give your employer the heads up, just get it signed and recover in peace. FMLA act will protect you from retaliation, harassment etc.

Posted by
California
on
I was terminated from my job. I feel it's due to me becoming partially disabled, although they gave other reasons when I asked for an explanation for the termination.

Posted by
California
on
I believe I was wrongfully terminated based on "judgment" not facts regarding my performance. I was not given any severance package either. I am a sole single parent of a baby as well and feel like I was discriminated against.

Posted by
California
on
I was verbally abused by another employee for over a year and a half. I filed a hostile work complaint against her with HR with multiple witnesses within and outside of the company. I was then laid off shortly afterward. The reason given was the reducing the workforce.

Posted by
California
on
After 11/2 years of harassment over clock-in, clock-out procedures with my leadsman, I complained to my supervisor. My complaint was that my leadman had me text him when arriving and leaving, then later a face-to-face when arriving and leaving, and then email from my desk computer. Time clock proceedure was dictated to me by my supervisor, the lead decided to have me text and e-mail him on his own. No other employee had to do this. When the supervisor refused to intervene, I went to HR. Two weeks later I was the only employee "laid off."

Posted by
Anonymous
on
I was working for a company since September 2014, and everything was going well or so I thought, and on New Years Eve I was called into some persons office and let go. No reason, nothing. Being that it was around the holidays my manager, supervisor and head of human resources were out. Well after being there for almost 4 months, everything I ever heard were compliments on my work. Never once was I given any verbal or written warnings. I am pregnant and I had let my manager know, now I'm thinking that is the reason they let me go. Is there anything I can do?

Posted by
California
on
I was disciplined, demoted and finally fired after complaining to human resources about my bosses' discriminatory actions and sexual harassment. I was told when I was fired that “it’s been 2 years, it’s termination. Ha ha.”

Posted by
California
on
I went above my immediate Supervisor's head and spoke to her direct Supervisor. I have many e-mails to document that I had questions and concerns, and only went above her head when nothing was being addressed. This was last Wednesday and I was fired today.

Posted by
California
on
Fired on December 5, 2014 when I showed up for driving duty. Had no previous notice of job performance issues. I am an excellent driver as my California Department of Motor Vehicles license indicates and was simply told "you are not a good driver" on the day of my dismissal.

Posted by
California
on
I was terminated 2 weeks after returning to work from maternity leave. They said I was violating policy by becoming an online Beachbody Coach while on leave. However, I was never reminded or adequately warned about this. I feel like I was being retaliated against for taking a long leave. And yes, I'm an African American. Why is it ok for so many other woman to be "beachbody coaches" while being employed by 24 Hour Fitness? That's not fair. It's discrimination!

Posted by
California
on
My girlfriend was asked to come in to work on her day off. She rides her bike to work. On her way to work she was hit by a car and suffered a broken ankle. Being that her bike is her only way of transportation she can not go to work. She received a note recommending light or MOD duty; however, she had no way to get to work with a broken ankle and the employer did not have adequate means to accommodate her condition, allowing her to work until she healed. She received a call today stating she was being fired from her job. She told me she will quit instead. What should I do? Does she have a case?

Posted by
California
on
I was involved in a accident at work. I am a heavy equipment operator and the machine rolled over. I went to the urgent care and was instructed to not come back to work until the following week. I returned to the job and was fired on the spot! I have never been given any write-ups or anything. This was my first and only incident. I worked for TNT for just under a year.

Posted by
California
on
In January I found out I was pregnant and immediately informed my employer, because we had a personal trainer who came to the office. Prior to informing my employer, he often told me what a valuable employee I was, and we really didn't have any problems. After I told him I was pregnant, his attitude toward me changed significantly. The majority of my job responsibilities were taken away, and my income became significantly reduced. I lost all my benefits except for being allowed to work from home. I went from being a salaried employee to being an hourly employee with no notice, or room to dispute, and ultimately, I was fired. My employer says I was fired for being a poor employee, but I feel the trend is pretty clear that after revealing I was pregnant, my employer began to discriminate against me.

Posted by
California
on
Fired for “excessive talking.” Former employee is an at will employer and has fired multiple employees in the recent months for un-justified reasons. I feel employer uses any false excuses to fire employees.

Posted by
California
on
I was told I should take FMLA to help deal with my wife's sickness. After going through with the doctor’s appointment, I went in, and instead, they terminated me for being late on credit card reconciliation forms. I have been there 6 years, worked hundreds of hours of overtime, never been written up at all. They had no intention of helping me get on FMLA, they even let me spend money on a doctor’s visit. As soon as I walked in to give them the papers for leave, they said, “we’re letting you go for insubordination.” I’ve never gotten in trouble once whilie at Imtech. They knew the heavy stress of dealing with my wife’s illness. I feel the manager wanted to cut someone because business is slow, and I was a sitting duck.

Posted by
California
on
Was sick and called in on June 30. Provided my employer my doctor's note taking me off until July 2. My employer e-mailed me on July 3 informing me that I was terminated because I wasn't able to work the prior 3 days.
I wasn't on a performance plan, I was excelling in my position.

Posted by
California
on
On June 7th, a co-worker made a claim that they observed me taking pictures of myself at a work location. I explained to my manager that I did not take any pictures of myself at my location and tried to show proof that I had not taken a picture of myself in costume. I was put on investigatory suspension and kept out of work for 2 weeks. On June 18th, I was called by a manager to come and discuss my suspension; when I got there, I was told I was being terminated for violation of company policy and given a check for $18.45 and never shown proof from the managers that I took pictures of myself at my work location.

Posted by
California
on
I filed a statement against a facility manager for not allowing me to transfer. Shortly after attempting to transfer, I was out several weeks on disability. Within 2 weeks of returning to work, I was told I was being terminated because I had lied on my application over 2 years earlier. I submitted all requested information and received an email stating all was clear and I was confirmed for employment from the H.R. Manager at the time. I was an outstanding employee, received good marks and promotions and was coincidentally terminated just after I returned. They also denied my unemployment.

Posted by
California
on
I was accused of abandoning my job while on doctor-recommended leave. I was injured outside of work and needed surgery to repair the damage. My work only approved part of the time off recommended by my doctors. I won an appeal through my work and was paid for time after the alleged abandonment. I have filed a complaint with the EEOC and will be receiving a right to sue letter soon.

Posted by
California
on
I was diagnosed with skin cancer about a month ago. I explained the situation to my boss and told her I would need some time off for the surgery. I was told my recovery would be one to three weeks after the surgery (as a lymph node biopsy was also required). Now my boss is saying she doesn't need me any more, AND is implying that I lied about the severity of my procedure (to which I offered to get my surgeon to give her a detailed explanation).

Basically, my boss is saying I am not needed because I had to take time off for cancer surgery and recovery.

Posted by
California
on
Caller is a preschool teacher. There was a misunderstanding on who was taking a break. She has a parent who heard her say she was going to break; however, the other teacher did not hear and she went on break as well at the same time. She was put on suspension but she was not paid for that time. She was only paid for 2 hours for the last day. She was then terminated.

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