Can You Sue For Wrongful Termination In California?

Find Wrongful Termination Lawyers In California To Protect Your Rights

Can you still sue someone without an employment contract? The short answer: yes.

Even if you work as an "at-will" employee in California, you are still protected from getting fired for illegal reasons. Sure, your boss can fire you (an at-will employee) for no reason anytime. Still, they can't fire you with the intent to be discriminatory or as an act of retaliation.


This post will briefly discuss Wrongful Termination in California and your right to sue your boss.


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Who Can File For Wrongful Termination?

In California, the majority of workers are employed on an at-will basis. This implies that they are free to leave their jobs at any moment and for any cause.


Employers can also fire employees for any reason (i.e., without cause) at any moment, but there are some restrictions. Because of your protected status, you cannot be fired for an illegal reason. In addition, you cannot be dismissed in reprisal for speaking out against unlawful activity.


You are protected from discrimination and retaliation whether you are an at-will employee or not. If such rights are infringed, you may be able to file a Wrongful Termination Claim In California.


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What Qualifies As Wrongful Termination in California?

Because California is an at-will jurisdiction in employment affairs, many wrongly terminated employees are unaware that their employer's actions were illegal. In addition, while employment-at-will suggests that companies can fire employees at any moment for any cause, this is only true if the reason isn't illegal. The following are examples of exceptions to employment-at-will:

  • Discrimination as a reason for termination

  • Termination or firing as retaliation for reporting illegal activity

  • Whistleblowing about any violations of the law, including workplace health and safety

  • Termination that violates the employee's existing or implied contract of employment

If you have been fired for any of the reasons above, it's best to consult with a California Employment Lawyer to help you build your case and file them with the proper agencies.


What Laws Protect You From Wrongful Termination?


Public policies protect you and your rights. For example, you may be able to file a wrongful termination claim if your previous employer violated those rights.


Protection From Discrimination


Employees can sue for discrimination if they fall into a group with protected characteristics, such as age discrimination, race and skin color discrimination, sex, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual preference, marital status, military/veteran status, genetic information, national origin, whistleblower status, disability discrimination, etc.

It is also considered unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who speak out against discrimination, harassment, or a company's inability to accommodate a disability.


Whistleblowers Are Protected

Employees in California are protected from retribution for reporting infractions of illegal activity, known as whistleblowing. If you report unsafe working conditions, health and safety breaches, unpaid wages, or Labor Code violations, they cannot retaliate.

Even if you (the whistleblower) end up being wrong about the things you report, you still can't be punished when it was done in good faith.

Employees who disclose their employers' infractions or noncompliance with California laws, federal statutes, or other rules and regulations are known as whistleblowers.


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Your employer is unable to:

  • Have policies in place to prevent staff from blowing the whistle

  • Threaten whistleblowers with retaliation

  • Retaliate against a worker who refuses to engage in illegal or non-compliant behavior

  • Retaliate against an employee who has exercised their right to whistleblower

If you can show that you were wrongly terminated, you may be eligible for one of four categories. You could be awarded compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees, and litigation costs restitution.


Contact a California Wrongful Termination Attorney to help you look through your case. Sometimes, people don't even know they have grounds to file a claim, so it's best to consult a legal expert to help.

Find A California Wrongful Termination Lawyer Near Me


You shouldn't worry about lawyer's fees. Gency.org helps clients find a Contingency Lawyer for their Employment Claims in California.

No win, no fees!

Please complete our submission form to get a free case review.

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