When an employer and employee sign an employment contract, the terms of employment must follow the terms of the employment contract. If the employer terminates the employee contrary to the terms of the contract, the employee may be able to sue the employer for wrongful termination.
California employers have broad discretion to fire employees under the employment-at-will rule. Still, if an employer discharges an employee for a reason that is specifically prohibited, the employee may have a wrongful termination case against the employer. One specifically prohibited reason is retaliation for filing a whistleblower claim.
Under the California Family Rights Act, the state of California allows employees to take time off work for a number of health and child-related reasons. These reasons include the birth of a child and the adoption or foster care placement of a child. They also include serious illness experienced by the employee or by the employee's child, parent or spouse. Employers must respect their employees' rights to time off and they cannot fire or otherwise punish an employee for exercising their rights under the law.
Most employers - and most employees - in California have a large amount of freedom to terminate employment relationships under the concept of employment at will. Employers are not allowed to terminate employees for just any reason, however. California and federal law establish a number of limitations on an employer's right to terminate an employee. One of these limitations is the prohibition of retaliating against whistleblower.
No one likes being terminated from a job. The feeling of rejection and abandonment is not entirely easy to take on a psychological level. There are also the financial consequences that will soon come into play because you have now lost your source of income. The sudden loss of your job will also have negative career consequences, as future employers will scrutinize your job history to determine what's "wrong" with you when, in fact, the only thing "wrong" is that you were unlawfully terminated.