What is Wrongful Termination?

Attorneys serving the South Bay Area and San Francisco including Redondo Beach, Torrance, Manhattan Beach and Nearby Cities

There are federal laws protecting workers from being fired based on several factors unrelated to job performance or ability. These include:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Genetic information
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Citizenship status

In all 50 states, if you are terminated for your job based on one of these factors, you have likely been wrongfully terminated and you may have cause to file suit. The best way to find out is through a one-on-one consultation with an experienced employment attorney.

If you live in the Redondo Beach area, call 310-536-1000 to learn how Kirtland & Packard can help.

California Employees Enjoy Extra Protections

Employees in California are protected against termination based on any of the reasons listed above. In addition, our state has made illegal the firing of employees based on:

  • Ancestry
  • Mental disability
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Medical conditions, including pregnancy and AIDS/HIV
  • Union activity
  • Whistleblowing
  • Political activities
  • Political affiliations
  • Military or veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence

If you have lost your job and you believe that one of these factors was at the core of the decision, our wrongful termination lawyers welcome an opportunity to meet with you free of both cost and obligation, allowing us to understand your situation and provide you with honest and frank information about your options and the best path forward.

A Small Infographic Exploring Wrongful Termination in California

The Role of “At Will” Employment

Generally speaking, wrongful termination may include being let go from your job for any reason that is not directly related to your performance. However, under “at will” labor laws, this can get a bit murky.

The concept of at will employment dates back to the 19th century where it was used as a way to control labor costs. Since that time, it has evolved – perhaps naturally, perhaps by direction – into a convenient way for employers to let go of an employee for reasons that wouldn’t otherwise be legal.

Under at will, there is no wrongful termination. An employee can be fired for any reason, at any time. Almost. 

This isn’t the case when an employee has been fired for retaliatory reasons or on the basis of discrimination, but the task of proving true intent is seldom black and white. The courts are traditionally reluctant to meddle too closely with a firm's personnel policies, though there are some legal limitations on a company's ability to lay an employee off. If you suspect you have been unlawfully fired, give us a call to learn how Kirtland & Packard can help.

Few employees are perfect, and there is usually some incident or issue on a person's record that can be used to justify firing them. However, under California law, an employee has a cause of action if one of the factors listed above was a substantial motivator in the termination.

We are here to Help

Since 1932, our firm has been helping victims of discriminatory and unfair employers get the compensation they deserve. Skilled, trusted, and awarded, our team of Southern California employment attorneys know to investigate these claims to determine if unfair labor practices took place. We are prepared to take these cases as far as needed so that employees who have been wronged are able to secure the fair and full compensation they are due.

If you need an experienced wrongful termination lawyer in the Redondo Beach area of California, please call Kirtland & Packard at 310-536-1000 for a free consultation. Our firm serves the communities of Torrance, Manhattan Beach, and all surrounding South Bay areas.