We get a lot of calls from potential clients wondering if they have been wrongfully terminated. Unless you are a lawyer or have already been involved in an employment lawsuit, then there is no way you can know without consulting with an employment lawyer. We’ve written extensively about what it means to be wrongfully terminated in California.
In a short nutshell for purposes of the FAQ, generally, in California, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason unless that reason violates public policy. Under California law, the public policy position supersedes the at-will employment doctrine. So what is public policy? Basically, a wrongful termination in violation of a public policy occurs if an employer terminates an employee due to gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, family or medical leave, political activity, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, for reporting unsafe working conditions, or for whistleblowing. This is not an exhaustive list, but just some examples of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. We have a lot more information on this subject (including a video) on our Wrongful Termination page.