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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Can I sue my employer for firing me for an unfair or untrue reason?
Maybe; Maybe not. It often depends on whether you believe the trivial or unfair reason your employer gave for firing you was their real reason, or whether you feel that they used a fabricated or trivial infraction as an excuse (or “pretext”) to fire you for a reason that is prohibited by anti-discrimination and whistleblower protection laws.

  • So, for example, you can definitely sue if your employer for wrongful termination if you were fired for reasons that violate anti-discrimination and whistleblower statutes such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL) and Labor Code Section 1102.5. So you would be able to sue under these laws if, for example, you are fired because of your race, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or because, under certain situations, you need a leave of absence to recover from or treat a medical condition or disability or care for a relative who has a serious health condition. Other laws protect employees from being fired for opposing or complaining about suspected or perceived illegal activity by their employer, such as not being paid wages or overtime owed or being denied breaks, or for things like needing time off for jury duty, military service or certain court proceedings. Complaints about workplace safety are also protected under the California labor Code.
  • Even if no statute protects you from termination, you may still be able to sue if you have an express or implied contract. If you have an employment contract for a particular term of length of time, or a contract stating that “good cause” is needed to fire you, then you can sue for breach of contract if you were fired for reasons that were petty, trivial, unfair, untrue or fabricated. You may also be able to sue for Breach of Implied Contract if you have no written employment contract, but have worked for your company for a long time and have received good evaluations and the company has written policies stating or implying that employees will only be fired for certain specified reasons, such as poor performance or violations of specific policies. Similarly, you may have a breach of implied contract claim if your superiors have made statements to you implying that you would not be fired without a good reason, such as telling you that you will always have a job there or that you can continue working indefinitely as long as you keep doing a good job.
  •  There may be other types of terminations that violate fundamental and longstanding public policies that will also support a common law wrongful termination claim depending on the particular circumstances of your situation. Therefore, it is vitally important that you consult an attorney if you have any questions about whether your particular termination was illegal and will support a lawsuit.