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Wrongful Termination Lawyer Serving Southern California
Illegally Fired? You deserve justice
It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee who reports illegal activity or refuses to engage in illegal activity. Scroll down to learn more from a wrongful termination lawyer.
Were You Wrongfully Terminated?
California law prohibits employers from firing employees for reasons that violate a public policy, a statute, or the constitution. It is illegal to fire an employee due to:
- Reporting conduct reasonably believed to be illegal
- Refusing to do something the employee reasonably believes is illegal
- Reporting, complaining about, or opposing discrimination, harassment, or retaliation
- Reporting or protesting unsafe conditions at work
- Refusing to do something that is dangerous to the employee or co-workers
- Reporting unsafe hospital conditions
- Age (over 40)
- National origin
- Pregnancy or related condition
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Disability or medical condition
- Marital status
- Medical leave (FMLA/CFRA/disability leave)
- Veteran status
- Requesting a reasonable accommodation
- Reporting wage and hour violations by the employer
- Reporting violations of the law to outside agencies
- Filing a complaint of discrimination with a governmental agency
What is wrongful termination?
The essence of a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy is that a violation of public policy substantially motivated an employer to terminate an employee. (See Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, Instruction No. 2430.) This is an extremely important exception to the general rule of at-will employment. “[W]hile an at-will employee may be terminated for no reason, or for an arbitrary or irrational reason, there can be no right to terminate for an unlawful reason or a purpose that contravenes fundamental public policy.” Gantt v. Sentry Ins., 1 Cal. 4th 1083, 1094 (1992).
Frequently Asked Questions
A public policy is a policy contained in the United States or California Constitution, or a federal or state statute or regulation. Source: Green v. Ralee Eng. Co., 19 Cal. 4th 66, 79 (1998).
- Employee terminated for reporting violations of FAA regulations. Green v. Ralee. Eng. Co., 19 Cal. 4th 66, 82 (1998).
- Private school teacher fired for refusing to violate administrative regulation related to teacher-student ratios. Scott v. Phoenix Schools, Inc., 175 Cal. App. 4th 702, 709 (2009).
- Employee fired for reporting to authorities that employers was employing undocumented immigrants. Jie v. Liang Tai Knitwear Co., Ltd., 89 Cal. App. 4th 654, 660-661 (2001).
- Employed fired due to disability. City of Moorpark v. Sup.Ct. (Dillon), 18 Cal. 4th 1143, 1160 (1998).
- Employee fired for reporting unsafe working conditions. Boston v. Penny Lane Ctrs., Inc.,170 Cal. App. 4th 936, 947 (2009).
- Employee fired for refusing to engage in illegal price fixing. Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 27 Cal. 3d 167, 169 (1980).
- Lost wages and benefits
- Emotional distress
- Other economic losses like medical expenses, moving expenses, and job search expenses
- Punitive damages to punish private employers in extreme cases
- Attorney’s fees
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This website is an advertisement for legal services. The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. An attorney-client relationship does not begin until a formal written contract is signed. If you have legal questions or need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as a guarantee or promise of results. Past case results are not indicative of future results and are presented for informational purposes only. The case results presented herein are from cases that Brandon Ortiz had primary day-to-day responsibility for prior to founding Ortiz Law Office, Inc.