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Orange County Wrongful Termination

Employment brings financial stability and a sense of accomplishment for hard-working individuals. The sudden loss of a job can cause terrible financial hardship and be a huge burden on an employee’s emotional well-being. However, when an employee is terminated for reasons rather than their job performance, the loss cuts deeply and personally. Employees who are terminated for illegitimate reasons can take legal recourse against their employer.


If you were fired and believe that termination was unjust, it is in your best interests seek qualified legal advice to determinewhether your employer violated any of California’s employment laws. At Walker Law, our Orange County wrongful termination attorneys are available to assist you. Contact us today to get the justice you deserve.

Grounds for Wrongful Termination

Most California employees are classified as “at-will.” This means that employers can terminate the employment relationship for practically any cause at any moment. There are, however, a handful of “protected categories” in which employers MAY NOT terminate an employee. These protected groups have been established by the courts, statutes, and public opinion to safeguard employees.

Despite their complexity, wrongful termination rules are generally quite employee-friendly. An employer may not terminate an employee for a variety of reasons. Wrongful termination is most associated with two scenarios: (1) discrimination and (2) retaliation.

Wrongful Termination Based on Discrimination

Discrimination is defined as taking action against someone because they belong to a protected class. While the exacts classes may vary depending on the law the claim is brought under, the common classes seen in discrimination claims are:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Origin of nationality

Wrongful Termination Based on Retaliation

Retaliation is when an employer acts to silence an employee based on an employee speaking out or bringing a claim. Firing an employee is an action that is prohibited under laws against retaliation. Some examples of employee actions that are protected against retaliation include:

  • The employee participated in a protected activity, such as requesting reasonable accommodations due to an injury or physical condition, taking medical leave, voting, or filing a lawsuit, etc.
  • The employee submitted a workers’ compensation claim
  • The employee requested or used protected leave, such as maternity leave, medical leave, FMLA or CFRA leave, voting or jury duty
  • The employee informed higher management or an external entity of unlawful activity also known as “whistleblowing”
  • The employee protested, reported, or filed a complaint regarding discrimination, harassment (against a protected class stated above), underpaid wages/overtime, not getting breaks, dangerous working conditions, or suspected unsafe working circumstances.

Constructive Termination

“Constructive” termination happens when an employer, rather than firing an employee and risking a lawsuit, makes working conditions so unbearable that the employee is strongly urged to depart. Under California law, the employee must demonstrate that the employer had no authority to fire the employee and the employer’s actions and omissions made working conditions so unpleasant that almost anybody would have departed as a result.

Other types of workplace mistreatment may be included in constructive termination instances. For example, if an employee was subjected to sexual harassment on a regular basis and the employer produced a hostile work environment, these circumstances might give rise to both a wrongful termination and a sexual harassment claim against the employer.


In a wrongful termination action, an employee may be entitled to the following kinds of compensation:

  • Back pay and benefits, usually commencing on the day the employee was terminated
  • Emotional pain brought on by job loss
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Punitive measures (designed to punish the employer, typically awarded in only extreme behaviors)

Get the Justice You Deserve

Eliminating an employee for unjustified reasons is completely unacceptable and employers must be held accountable. Not only does termination based on one’s personal characteristics cut deeply, but there are real financial implications that a victim of wrongful termination claims faces from the carelessness of an employer. Harmful employers should not and will not be tolerated. At Walker Law, our Orange County wrongful termination lawyers will fight for your rights and will not let an employer bully you down. Contact us today so that you get the justice you deserve.

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