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What Is Wrongful Termination?


If you’ve been terminated from your job, but you believe you shouldn’t have been, you may wonder if you have a case for wrongful termination.

Read on to learn more about wrongful termination in California.

Reasons for Wrongful Termination


If you’re under an employment contract promising your employment for a specified period of time or that you may only be let go for specific reasons, your employer is required to honor your contract. If your employer violates the contract, you may have a viable claim against your employer.

Your contract may be made verbally or in writing. In addition, your employee handbook can be used as a contract of sorts. For example, the employee handbook may state that employees may only be fired for justifiable reasons.

If your employer breaches your contract, you may be able to sue for the following:

  • Wages
  • Benefits
  • Anything else you should’ve received


The state of California protects employees from being hired and/or fired based on the following characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Citizenship status
  • Marital status
  • AIDS/HIV status
  • Medical condition
  • Political beliefs or activities
  • Military or veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or assault


You may not be fired for exercising or attempting to enforce your employment rights. For instance, you cannot be let go for any of the following:

  • Filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment
  • Requesting or taking family and medical leave
  • Taking time off to serve on a jury
  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim
  • Criticizing illegal wage and hour practices

Violating Public Policy

You may not be let go for exercising a legal right, disagreeing to commit an illegal act, or criticizing workplace illegality. Public policy claims are like retaliation claims but have key differences.

A retaliation claim prohibits your employer from firing you for exercising your legal right to file a complaint. A public policy claim isn’t based on a particular law or statute but instead based upon the firing of an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act.

The overarching principle here is that you cannot be fired for exercising a legal right or declining to participate in illegal or unethical conduct.

We’re Here to Help

If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, our attorneys at K2 Employment Law are here to help. Our team has helped hundreds of other wrongfully terminated employees, let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t wait—contact us with your case right away.

Call our Granada Hills attorneys today at (800) 590-7674 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.