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Wrongful Termination Laws in California

Posted by attorney Christopher Canlas

In California, most employment relationships are presumed to be "at-will" unless you are a union member or if you have an employment contract. At-will employment means that your employment relationship may be legally terminated at any time, without notice. That, however, does not mean that your employer can terminate for any reason. In fact, there are numerous public policy exceptions to at-will employment. For example, an employee cannot be terminated for the following reasons:

  • Race, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or some other protected classification
  • Marital or family status
  • Taking family and/or medical leave
  • Taking pregnancy leave
  • Requesting an accommodation for disability
  • Opposition to some unlawful activity
  • Complaining about unsafe working conditions or work practices to employers or to a government agency
  • Refusing to sign an unlawful non-compete clause
  • Serving on jury duty
  • Protesting unlawful discrimination or harassment by employer
  • Participating in political activity, including holding public office
  • Disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency

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