I Can’t Believe I Was Fired — Do I Have a Wrongful Termination Claim?

In California, most jobs are at-will. This means that workers may be let go or quit their job for almost any reason. That being said, there are many times when a California employee is fired for unlawful reasons and therefore is eligible to file a wrongful termination claim. Read on for the 5 most common items that cause a wrongful termination claim under California employment law.

Contractual Employment


If you signed an employment contract before starting your job, it’s likely that the contract included a clause about the nature of your employment, as well as how the employer can only fire you for “good cause” or for specific reasons (such as use of illegal drugs or stealing from the company). If an employee is fired in violation of the terms of the contract, they may have a wrongful termination claim.


Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is all too common in Orange County and throughout California. If you were fired for discriminatory reasons, you may have a claim for wrongful termination. In California, a person may not be discriminated against due to their:

–        Race

–        Color

–        Nationality

–        Religion

–        Gender

–        Pregnancy

–        Age

–        Disability

–        Genetics (See CalGINA for more information or speak with a qualified employment attorney)

–        Citizenship status

–        Marital status

–        AIDS / HIV status

–        Medical conditions

–        Political beliefs or activities

–        Military or veteran status

–        Victims of domestic violence, stalking, or assault

Employees who believe they’ve been the victims of workplace discrimination should take immediate action. If you have been discriminated against, know that you have legal rights that need to be protected.

Public Policy Violations

In some cases, employees have been fired when they complain to a manager or supervisor about an illegal activity taking place in the workplace or when they refuse to participate in a crime at the request of their employer. Employees may have a wrongful termination claim if they are fired for exercising their legal rights, informing authorities about illegal activities taking place, or refusing to commit a crime.

Claims of wrongful termination based on public policy aren’t based solely on employment law. Employees who believe that they’ve been fired for this reason should talk with a qualified California attorney who is experienced in employment law.