California labor laws are in place to protect workers from an array of potential problems, including making sure they are not fired without cause.
In the case of an unjust firing, employees can take legal action against an employer if they feel the firing violated California wrongful termination laws. California is an at-will state, which means that workers can be disciplined or fired at will. But when an employee is let go due to unjust or discriminatory reasons, a worker might want to consider filing a lawsuit.
Despite the at-will status, workers in California cannot be fired due to race, gender or sexual orientation. A person also cannot be fired for refusing to do something illegal, for filing a complaint or for speaking out against working conditions.
When a California resident believes he or she has been unjustly fired, they need to file a complaint with either the Department of Fair Employment or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is the federal agency in charge of investigating employment complaints.
If a preliminary investigation finds no violation, a person is then given a Notice of Right to sue, allowing them to file suit in a court of law. If a violation has been determined and the EEOC decides not to take legal action, a person will also receive a Notice of Right to sue, giving them the green light to hire an attorney who will help them fight for compensation.