You have always arrived on time to work since you started at your job. You used very little sick time, and vacations were few and far between. So, getting notice you of your firing leaves you feeling confused, frustrated and angry. Your question is, “why?” Why did your employer fire you? Is there anything you can do to fight this? It depends on whether or not your employer’s motives were illegal.
The state of California has what is known as at-will employment. At-will means an employer can fire an employee without needing a reason. However, some terminations are illegal. Illegal, in this case, is a wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination is when your employer’s reasons for terminating your employment violate your legal rights. These violations can go against both federal and state statutes.
- Physical or mental disability
Under The California Fair Employment and House Act, your employer must provide “reasonable accommodation” if you have a medical condition, including physical and mental disabilities.
Reasonable accommodations can consist of:
- Altering equipment
- Adjusting your work schedule
- Moving you to another position within the company
- Retaliation for being a whistleblower
An employee loses his or her job after reporting a possible violation of the law by the employer. California Labor Code 1102.5 protects the employee from unlawful termination as a form of retaliation.
Discrimination in the workplace is a violation of federal law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, along with several other federal and state laws, protect employees from discrimination. An employer may be discriminating based on:
- Race or color
- Sexual orientation
California is an at-will employment state, and your employer may not give you the reason for your termination. But, if you know your rights as an employee, you may have cause for filing a wrongful termination suit.