Was I wrongfully terminated?
Many people who are fired believe they were wrongfully terminated. "Wrongful termination" is a term of art referring to specific harassment and employment discrimination based on being a member of a protected class. Being fired without good cause may be unfair, but it is not necessarily illegal.
What is considered wrongful termination?According to California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), discrimination based on the following categories is considered wrongful termination:
-Age (over 40)
-Denial of Family or Medical Care Leave
-Disability (mental and physical)
-Military and Veteran Status
-Gender Identity and Gender Expression
Wrongful termination also extends to retaliation. This could be for reporting discrimination, trying to get your employer to adhere to labor laws, reporting unlawful activity to an outside agency, amoungst other things.
What is NOT wrongful termination?California is an "at-will" employment state. This means that you have the right to quit for any time and for any reason, and your employer has the right to fire you at any time for any reason, unless it is motivated by the above categories, or it is specified in an employment contract that you may only be terminated for good cause. In all other situations, whether fair or not, your employer has the right to fire you without good cause. It could be as simple as your employer not liking your shoes.