Being let go from your job can be a stressful and confusing experience. While some terminations are the result of poor performance or misconduct, others might fall into the unfortunate category of wrongful termination. The American Civil Liberties Union reported that each year, approximately 250,000 workers get wrongfully terminated from their jobs each year across the United States.
California has strong employee protections, so if you suspect your firing was unfair, it is important to understand the potential red flags.
Was your termination based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or any other protected characteristic? Even subtle comments or behavior before your firing hinting at bias could be evidence of discrimination. Remember, California law prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on these factors.
Did you report illegal activity, unsafe working conditions or harassment before your termination? Did you refuse to participate in unethical behavior? Employers cannot fire you for speaking up about these issues. If your firing comes on the heels of such actions, it might be retaliation, which is illegal.
Violation of contract
Did you have an employment contract outlining specific termination terms? If your employer fired you without adhering to those terms, it could be a contract violation.
No clear reason or warning
Did you receive vague or no explanation for your termination? Were you consistently praised for your work and then suddenly let go without prior warning or performance reviews? These factors may suggest an unfair termination.
While these are some signs, they do not guarantee a wrongful termination case. Every situation is unique, and it is important to consult with relevant resources for qualified guidance. Consider contacting the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or other employee advocacy groups for further information and support. Being fired can be upsetting, but understanding your rights as a California employee is empowering. If you suspect your termination was unfair, do not hesitate to investigate and seek compensation.