It is not uncommon for Californians to change jobs throughout their lives. Some may decide to stay within their chosen industries and move to new employers while others may decide to start fresh with new careers in fields they have never before pursued. Still others may be forced to seek out new employment opportunities when they are let go from their jobs.
Being let go or fired can be a traumatic and difficult experience, especially when a person believes that they were terminated for an improper reason. Though many people work as "at will" employees this designation does not give their employers free reign to fire them for certain prohibited bases. When an employer lets an employee go and the basis violates state or federal harassment, discrimination, or labor laws, that person may have a legal claim against their former employer.
Generally, an employer cannot fire an employee based on that employee's inclusion in a protected class. For example, a person's religion, age, disability, or race may not be used as a reason to let them go from a job. Such actions are discriminatory and violate both federal and California laws.
Additionally, an employer cannot fire an employee who has taken some adverse action against the employer. If, for example, an employee became a whistleblower for reporting issues of noncompliance of the employer to the appropriate authorities, the employer may not retaliate against the employee by dismissing them from their post.
There are many other ways that an employer may wrongfully terminate an employee. Individuals who have been let go from their jobs may wish to seek the counsel of civil litigation attorneys to learn more about their potential rights and possible methods of pursuing their damages.