Most states, including California, have at-will employment. Employees can quit or have their employment terminated for any reason as long as it does not violate any protected category, contract or law. Identifying if you have been wrongfully terminated as soon as possible is essential so you can start building a claim and get back to generating income.

When is a termination considered wrongful?

Because most states have at-will employment, they generally do not need to provide any reason or warning before terminating an employee. However, you could have a wrongful termination case if your employer discriminated against you based on a protected category such as:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Country of origin
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Parental status
  • Military status

Do I have a wrongful termination case if I’m not part of a protected class?

If your employer fired you in violation of a contract you may also have a claim. If your employment agreement requires there be cause for your termination, you may have legal grounds to sue. Your contract should have more information about what constitutes a legal firing.

Another example of wrongful termination is being fired as retaliation for whistleblowing. Typically, employment laws protect employees who shed light on illegal activities or conduct.

Medical history is also an illegal cause for termination such as retaliating against employees who have recently filed a workers’ compensation claim. If this occurred at your workplace, start compiling medical evidence to support your case.

If your employer illegally fired you, you could have a legal case on your hands. Working with an employment law attorney can help you understand the legal options you have. Your attorney can help gather evidence and work to prove your case in court.