California has arguably the strongest laws in the country that protect employees from wrongful termination. An employer is forbidden from terminating, i.e. firing, an employee for any of the following reasons: Race, ethnicity, age (over 40), sex, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, political belief, pregnancy, and more.
In addition, most employers cannot terminate an employee based upon the employee’s physical or mental disability unless the disability prevents the employee from performing his or her work and no reasonable accommodation is possible. In deciding whether a reasonable accommodation is possible, an employer and employee must engage in what is called the ‘interactive process’ to determine what the employee’s capabilities and limitations are. Going out on leave for a certain amount of time may also be deemed to be a reasonable accommodation based upon the specific circumstances.
In addition, an employer may not retaliate against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. Retaliation certainly includes termination, but it can also include something less than firing the employee, such as a demotion, a reduction in pay, a reduction in hours of work, or other change in the employee’s circumstances at work. Protected activity includes anything from reporting unsafe working conditions, reporting illegal activity, reporting wage and hour violations, complaining about discrimination or harassment, and various other public policy interests that state law protects.
Finally, it is worth noting that an employer does not actually have to formally fire an employee in order for that employee to pursue a wrongful termination claim. Based upon the circumstances, the conditions at work may be so intolerable that the employee has experienced what is called a ‘constructive discharge.’ With a constructive discharge, rather than being fired outright, the employee themselves decide that they will no longer go to work because the employer has made it very difficult, if not impossible, for the employee to show up and complete their work. If all of the requirements of a constructive discharge are met, the employee may still maintain a wrongful termination action against their employer despite the fact that the employee is the one to say that they will no longer show up for work.
KLF's employment attorneys work with you to determine if you have a case for wrongful termination. If so, your employer could be required to compensate you or take other remedial action. We negotiate on your behalf and file a lawsuit as necessary. If we find that your employer also has violated the rights of your coworkers, we may be able to help them, too.
Contact us regardless of whether or not you are confident that your employer broke the law. We are here to help you make that determination. Based in Glendale, we represent employees in the Los Angeles area and throughout California. All consultations are free and confidential.
If you would like to discuss a potential wrongful termination claim, we encourage you to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the firm at (818) 221-2800.