If you have been fired from a job, your supervisor may have given you several reasons for your termination.in at-will employment states, most of these reasons will be considered legal, even if they seem unreasonable or unfair. Employers are legally allowed to terminate an employee for any legal reason.
Some legal reasons for termination cited by employers include:
- Poor work performance
- Excessive absences or tardiness
- Engaging in criminal activity at work
Illegal reasons for termination
While your employer may have cited a legal reason for termination, it may have just been a cover for an illegal reason for termination. Illegal reasons include:
- Discriminatory reasons (terminating employee based on their race, religion, disability or other protected characteristic)
- Retaliation (terminating employee for reporting workplace harassment)
- Whistleblowing (terminating employee for reporting company’s illegal behavior)
- Breach of contract (e.g., terminating employee for no cause when their contract states they can only be terminated for good cause)
Filing a claim for wrongful termination
Filing a lawsuit against your employer in California will be challenging. Your goal will be to show the reason they cited when terminating you was merely a cover for the illegal reason.
If you choose to consult with an attorney, it will be their job to help collect any evidence that can prove that the reason given for your termination is not true. For example, citing poor performance when the employee has exceptional performance reviews on their record.
Losing a job can be a painful experience, but not all firings are grounds for a wrongful termination suit. An employment law attorney can review the circumstances of your firing and advise you on what to do next.