An unfair dismissal refers to laying off an employee for reasons that are deemed illegal. In California, you can sue an employer for being fired in many different situations.
The state laws offer comprehensive protection to workers against unfair dismissals. The law has clearly specified situations in which a worker can be legally terminated.
In this post, we will explain some of the cases in which you can sue your employer for unfair termination in California.
1. Whistleblower Protection
California’s Labor Code 1102.5 offers protection to employees who report a potential violation of law by a company. An employer cannot take legal action against whistleblowers. They cannot retaliate by firing an employee who reports a suspected violation to a law enforcement agency, government agency, or a supervisor who has the authority to investigate this issue.
The California False Claims Act also gives the right to an employee to sue an employer on behalf of the state for wrongful termination due to bringing to light embezzlement of government funds.
Apart from the local state laws, the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 prevents an employer from wrongly terminating an employee of a publicly traded company who reports a possible security violation.
2. Laws Against Constructive Termination
The employees in California have a legal right to file a wrongful termination case even if they haven’t been terminated. Under the state’s constructive termination laws, employees can sue an employer who knowingly makes working conditions intolerable to force an employee to resign.
The workplace retaliation laws in the state prevent an employer from retaliating against whistleblowers through constructive termination.
3. Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act in California prevents employers from taking action against employees who oppose discrimination and harassment at the workplace.
Employers cannot take retaliatory action against an employee who files a complaint about age, gender, racial, or other forms of discrimination. In addition, employers cannot terminate an employee for testifying in a discrimination or harassment lawsuit.
4. Protection for Political Affiliation
Employees in California can sue an employer for unfair termination due to political speech or activity. The state law prevents an employer from controlling the political actions of employees. As a result, an employee who has been terminated due to a political affiliation can sue an employer for wrongful termination.
5. Worker Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act
Employers in the state are required to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to a mass layoff according to California’s WARN Act. This law applies to all employers with at least 75 employees. An employer is liable in case no notification is given to employees before mass termination.
You should contact an experienced employment lawyer in California if you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed.
A professional employment attorney will handle all legal requirements in filing a case against an employer. You need to contact an employment attorney as soon as possible. This will increase the odds of a successful outcome of an employment-related case.
6. Age Discrimination
The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Act, which applies to all ages, permits the use of certain age distinctions and factors other than age that meet the Act’s requirements. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the Civil Rights Center.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).