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If you have been wrongfully terminated, you might have legal options for relief. Under California law, employees who are fired in violation of an employment contract, for exercising certain legal rights, or for discriminatory reasons may have a wrongful termination claim. 

What Is Wrongful Termination?

California employment is “at will,” meaning an employee can quit your job at any time for any reason without having to explain your reasoning– This also applies to employers. You can be terminated without any explanation as well. However, your employer can’t terminate you for an illegal reason or in violation of a contract. 

Breach of Contract

If you have a written contract or other documentation such as an offer letter that promises job security, you may be exempt from California’s “at will’ employment rule. Employment contracts often outline expectations and reasons that you may be terminated. Getting fired outside the scope of your agreement constitutes a breach of contract and, thus, wrongful termination. 


It is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on color, race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability in California. Suppose an employer terminates you because you are part of one of these protected classes.

In that case, your first step is to file a Charge of Employment Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);  This will allow the EEOC to investigate your case. After the investigation, you may opt to file a legal claim for wrongful termination.  


An employer cannot legally terminate you in retaliation for your exercising a legal right. For example, they cannot terminate you for participating in an employment-related investigation for something like harassment or ethics. You cannot be terminated for taking advantage of employment benefits or keeping you from doing so.

Violation of Public Policy

As an employee of California and a citizen of the United States, you have inherent rights as  part of public policy. These include time off to vote, serve on a jury, and partake in military duties. You also have the right to refuse orders that would cause you to break the law or refrain from reporting illegal activity. Legally, you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. 

What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need for Wrongful Termination?

If you have been fired unjustly, it is crucial to seek proper legal counsel to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  There are so many different legal specializations that you may wonder: What kind of lawyer do you need for wrongful termination?  

Employment attorneys are generally the attorneys that handle wrongful termination. You need a lawyer for employment termination who has experience with both state and federal employment laws that protect your rights. 

Hiring a Lawyer for Employment Termination

Handling your own wrongful termination claim can be a daunting and emotional task. There are a lot of components that go into proving that you were wrongfully terminated. Lawyers who handle wrongful termination can be crucial in many situations, including:

  • Filing paperwork with the court and notifying relevant parties;
  • Determining the type of information that needs to be gathered for your case;
  • Conducting a thorough investigation;
  • Securing witnesses;
  • Presenting your case to a jury; and
  • Ensuring you receive fair compensation.  

The Farzam Law Firm has helped numerous clients in the Los Angeles area with their employment law concerns. We understand how you may feel after being wrongfully terminated by your employer. We strive to provide compassionate and professional counsel to get you the relief you deserve. 

If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, contact us online or call us at 866-523-5345 for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.

Author Photo

Joseph Farzam

Mr. Farzam attended Santa Monica high school and worked at McDonald’s and local coffee shops to support himself. Although he worked 2 or 3 jobs, he valued education greatly and earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge in biology, and attended the prestigious Pepperdine University School of Law. He graduated with high marks and passed the California bar exam on the first try. Mr. Farzam has received the coveted titles of Super Lawyer, Los Angeles Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and has received The Litigator Awards.  He is a proud member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

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