If you got hired on a Veteran preference, you were lucky. You don't get a bullet-proof vest against lay-off. Why work at a corrupt company? Keep your severance package, unemployment benefits, and your dignity on the way out. If they are bad people, you will be better off at a new job. If they are good people, you will burn up valuable resources trying to swim against the tide. Every misfortune is not a potential lawsuit.
I'm sorry this happened to you and can understand your frustration.
Not all employers have a responsibility to provide veteran's preference in hiring. What is the employer's policy in this regard?
If you believe your employer fired you because you reported something to the corporate office and to HR, you may be the victim of retaliation for whistleblowing. Not all reports are protected; generally, the report must be about something that affects the public.
Please take a look at my Avvo guide on California's at-will employment law http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/a-short-summary-of-california-at-will-employment. After you review the guide, if you believe your rights have been violated, I urge you to consult with a plaintiffs employment attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***