The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) published a report in 2019 that aimed to highlight some of the most common mistakes employers make that violate employment laws and thus expose them to legal liability. CalChamber circulated the report with the expectation of employees learning more about the requirements employers must meet to terminate a worker.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons it may be illegal to fire workers in California.
CalChamber spelled out when it’s unlawful for employers to fire workers for their suspected drug use. The report outlined how California companies can lawfully require workers to submit to drug testing under limited circumstances. However, it’s unlawful for an employer to demand a drug test in any random situation and then use those results as the reason for firing an employee. CalChamber’s report suggests that this could result in a worker being able to sue for wrongful termination.
As you’re likely already aware, discrimination can take on many different forms. Both state and federal laws prohibit any discrimination due to an employee’s inclusion in a protected class. Sexual orientation, pregnancy and being a crime victim are all examples in addition to race, national origin, age, gender and all the other protected groups. You may have a valid wrongful termination claim if a hostile work environment leads you to leave your job or ends up with your termination.
Terminating someone for whistleblowing, which involves reporting potential employer impropriety, is unlawful under California and federal laws. You may have a valid wrongful termination claim if your employer terminates or otherwise retaliates against you for reporting their illicit actions.
Were you unlawfully terminated from your job?
Interpreting labor laws can be challenging. Determining whether your situation rises to the level of an unlawful termination may not be easy. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance.