In California, a wrongful termination can be difficult to prove. This is because, without a written employment contract to the contrary, the employer-employee relationship in California is presumed to be “at will.” In essence, an “at will” relationship means that either the employer or the employee can choose to end the relationship at any time and for any reason. However, you can not fire someone based on an illegal reason such as discrimination, retaliation, or refusing to engage in illegal activity for example.
In California an employee may bring a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination if the employee can prove the termination was:
1. In breach of an oral promise of continued employment
2. In breach of a written contract
3. Violating a specific state or federal statute – For example if you are a victim of sexual harassment, discrimination due to sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, etc.
4. Violating public policy – An example might be termination based on a retaliatory reason
Each case is unique in the circumstances and facts surrounding the wrongful termination. As a result, it’s important that an employee keep copies of all employment agreements, handbooks with company policies, any written performance evaluations, etc. so that an employment attorney can help evaluate your wrongful termination case.
If you think you have been the victim of a wrongful termination contact Steven Fink, employment lawyer San Jose, to review your case.