While facing the possible of wrongful termination in any state is a difficult matter, the state of California takes a significantly different approach to monitoring and enforcement of the typical at-will employment clauses employed by most states. While there exists overarching federal law regarding employee termination, employee protections, and at-will employment, California’s special cases have gained it the reputation of one of the most employee-friendly states in the United States.
The reason for this, the Society of Human Resources reports, is that most California state legislation is geared toward protecting employees over employers. Although California operates under general at-will principles that state that employers may terminate any employee at any time for any reason without prior legally binding agreements, California’s laws offer a wide range of benefits to individuals who fall into certain protected classes, allowing them to pursue recourse in the event of a potential wrongful termination case. California’s strong anti-discrimination laws provide protections that may not be available in other states, atop other protections generally afforded and mandated by overarching federal labor law.
Discrimination is not the only reason for a wrongful termination suit, however. One high-profile case involves a high-level employee of the popular messaging app Snapchat. Bloomberg News details the case, in which the plaintiff claimed Snapchat not only misrepresented its growth to attract him away from a job with competitor Facebook, but proceeded to fire him when he raised the discrepancy. Subsequent accusations claim that Snapchat additionally attempted to undermine or ruin the employee’s reputation in the industry, negatively affecting career prospects.