Just like the infamous Paul Simon song, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” there are countless ways for your boss to fire you from a job. However, this does not mean that all of the ways you could be terminated are lawful. For example, if you get fired in a way that violates state or federal laws, you could be the victim of wrongful termination.
Here are three examples of how wrongful termination can happen in a typical California workplace:
Terminated due to retaliation: If an employee reports unlawful activity at work to government authorities, if an employee complains about sexual harassment or discrimination at work, or if an employee fails to perform an unlawful or sexually-explicit act as requested, it could draw the ire of his or her employer and result in termination. However, that would be an act of retaliation and a violation of the employee’s legal rights.
Terminated in violation of an employment contract: Employees may enter into verbal or written contracts with their employers. If the firing of an employee contradicts the agreements in that employee’s verbal or written contract, the employee may have a case for wrongful termination.
Terminated due to discrimination: Finally, most employees enjoy legal protection from various types of on-the-job discrimination. If the employee was terminated due to his or her inclusion in a protected status — such as being a certain race, color or religion — then wrongful termination has occurred.
If you’d like to know more about your employment rights and wrongful termination in California, our law office is standing by to answer any questions and concerns that you might have.