When people get fired or laid off from their jobs in California, there are many things that may be going through their minds. People may know exactly why they were fired, but others may only be able to guess at as to why they were let go. In the latter situation, it can be even more difficult for the employee who may not have done anything wrong to deserve being fired. However, even though an employee may have been fired for what may seem like a petty reason, it does not necessarily mean that the employee was wrongfully terminated.
In order for an employee to be wrongfully terminated, the reason for the firing must meet certain criteria. One reason for a wrongful termination claim is that the employer discriminated against the employee due to their race, age, gender, disability, national origin, religion and other protected categories the employee may be in. Another way that an employee can be wrongfully terminated is if it is for retaliation against the employee either reporting illegal activity within the company or participating in an investigation. Employers cannot fire an employee as a form of sexual harassment either.
Employees can also be wrongfully terminated on more contractual grounds as well. This can occur if the employee has a set term in their contract and the employee fires them prior to the contract ending. This can also occur if the employer violated a collective bargaining agreement.
If an employee is successful in a wrongful termination claim they could receive compensation, which may include back pay, front pay and potentially punitive damages depending on the circumstances.
There are many people in California who are fired from their jobs each year. This is never easy and can put the employee in a very difficult situation financially. While there is nothing illegal about most firings, some are illegal and the employee may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful termination case. There are many complications that can arise in these cases though which experienced attorneys understand. Consulting with one could be useful.