When employees in California lose their jobs under unfair circumstances, many of them shrug it off as normal and simply move on to another job. For others, the transition process is more difficult. It may take weeks or months to find another job and it may not be as high-paying as the one they lost. When seeking new employment, recruiters may also be reluctant to hire employees for top positions if they were fired from their last job. So, what can these employees do?
According to Forbes, unless an individual is protected by specific inclusions in an individual contract or is part of a collective bargaining agreement, employers can fire them at any reason for any time. This is somewhat true, but not entirely. California has put laws in place to make some firing situations illegal. Here are a few of these instances:
- When firing the employee goes against the contractual agreement, such as proposed length of contract
- If firing the employee is in retaliation, such as after sexual harassment claims
- When the reason for firing the employee is based on discrimination
- If the employee is fired because they exercised a legal right
FindLaw encourages employees to create a checklist for each of these reasons to see if they may have a claim for wrongful termination. Workers may need to consider if they have proof for any claims of discrimination. Also, were there any inclusions in the contract that guaranteed tenure for a specific period of time or that put termination guidelines in place that were not followed? Did the termination happen soon after claims of sexual harassment or an act of whistleblowing?
Note that California prohibits discrimination not just for race, sex, age, national origin, religion or disability, but also sexual orientation and gender identity. Finally, California recently became the first state to ban discrimination based on natural or ethnic hair.
This article provides information on wrongful termination. It should not be used in place of legal advice.