Wrongful discharge or wrongful dismissal, also known as wrongful termination, is a legal expression that describes a situation in which an employee’s contract of employment has been terminated by their employer and the termination breaches one or more terms of their employment contract or a statutory provision in employment law based on state and federal laws and court decisions.
As indicated above, most employees in California are employed “at-will.” That means that an employer does not need a good reason or even a reason to terminate the employment relationship with most employees. Moreover, even if the employer has a bad, unfair, or even inaccurate reason for your termination, that also does not give rise to a wrongful termination claim.
In order to be liable for wrongful termination, one must investigate the reasons for the termination. If the termination was discriminatory in nature, that is, an employee’s race, religious preferences, national origin, gender, sex, sexual preference, disability, medical condition or status, or marital status, then it gives rise to a claim for wrongful termination.
It is also wrongful to retaliate or terminate an employee who reports unlawful activities that are occurring at the workplace or for refusing to participate in an unlawful activity. It is also unlawful to terminate an employee for medical leave or jury time. Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule and you should consult an attorney for more information regarding your own situation.
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