Wrongful termination is defined as “being fired for an unlawful reason, which may involve a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws or a breach of contract.”
An example of an unjustified termination would be firing an employee based on specific characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or disability. Although some reasons quickly lead to wrongful termination (such as discrimination), others are not so clear.
Here are some reasons why you might have a wrongful termination case.
You cannot be fired for being a whistleblower.
A whistleblower is protected for reporting fraudulent activity and wrongdoing against the state or federal government. In addition, if you are reporting something illegal or unethical happening on behalf of your employer, you and your position at work are protected. This is also true if your employee asks you to do something illegal, like work longer hours without a break. If your employee tries to fire you because you refuse to do what he or she asks, that could be a case of wrongful termination.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows you to take time off work to recover from illness.
This law protects your position at work and allows you not to be fired. If you have to take care of a family member because they are sick, the time you use is also covered by this law. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees of businesses with five or more employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid vacation in a 12-month period.
If you are wrongfully terminated, the damages you can recover in a California wrongful termination lawsuit have one or more of the following:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Back pay and wages
- Compensation for emotional distress/pain and suffering resulting from the loss of your job
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. We have experience in these cases, and we are prepared to help you.