In a state as large as California, there are often cases of wrongful termination. These cases can lead to litigation when an employee believes that their termination violated the law. It’s a highly contested area of labor relations.
What is wrongful termination?
Wrongful termination is firing an employee in violation of the law or the policies of the company. There are specific rules governing how a person can be fired. For example, it cannot be for a discriminatory purpose, such as for membership in a protected class defined by race or religion. It also cannot be in violation of the company’s written procedures for termination, which must follow a sequence of steps and warnings.
Common forms of wrongful termination include retaliation. This is when an employee witnesses or experiences illegal activity at work, reports it and then is fired for reporting it. Whistleblower laws protect these workers. Companies also cannot terminate employees by making their work conditions so bad that they are forced to quit, such as cutting all of their hours, moving them from one location to another without working and so on.
There are many forms of wrongful termination, and employment law devotes a lot of space to defining these and providing a path to how to resolve these cases. It is crucial for workers to collect as much information as they can, especially anything that is written, and to act quickly because they will lose access to email and other resources.
Wrongful termination can be shocking and disruptive. However, the law provides for ways to get compensation depending on the case and the individual situation of the worker.