Wrongful Termination

What is wrongful termination?

If an employee's termination violates fundamental principles of public policy such as prohibitions against employment discrimination then under California law the discharged employee may maintain a tort action for wrongful termination in addition to any discrimination claim he may have. For example, if an employee is terminated because of his disability then he may file a wrongful termination claim against his employer.  Similarly, if an employer retaliates against an employee for whistleblowing or expressing his reasonable concerns about unpaid wages the employee would have a wrongful termination claim. The California Supreme Court has extended wrongful termination claims to encompass demotions or other similar employment decisions.

What are some examples of wrongful termination?

Wrongful termination claims are usually filed along with other typical employment law claims, such as discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Below are some common examples of wrongful termination claims:


    An Asian-American employee receives good performance reviews each of the last three years. After the company hires a new manager, who is white, the employee starts receiving negative criticism about his work performance. The manager reveals that he does not believe Asian-American employees have a future in his department because they do not fit in. The Asian-American employee is terminated. He would have both a race discrimination claim and a wrongful termination claim.   A female employee is constantly berated with sexual jokes and insults by her male supervisor. Even after complaining to management, nothing is done and she is ultimately demoted and placed in a different department with a lower salary. The female employee has both a sexual harassment claim and a wrongful termination/demotion claim even though she was not formally terminated from employment.


    A high level executive has an employment contract for three years stating that he may only be terminated for cause. The company is satisfied with his performance but wants to move the executive into a lower position and hire the son of the company's founder to replace him. The executive refuses and instead is fired. Since the company did not abide by the employment contract clause permitting termination only for cause, the executive would have a wrongful termination claim.     An employee at stock brokerage reports his concerns to the U.S. Attorney's Office and SEC that his boss is embezzling client funds. After the brokerage finds out, it immediately fires him. The employee would have a claim for whistleblowing and for wrongful termination.

How can an attorney help you?

If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated or demoted from your job you should contact an attorney to review the circumstances surrounding your case. An experienced employment attorney can analyze your situation to determine whether you employer's action in fact violated public policy, thereby permitting you to file a wrongful termination claim.

Our firm is well-versed in wrongful termination cases and can  gather initial facts, advise you on your alternatives, prepare a complaint if necessary, and litigate a wrongful termination claim until resolution. Remember: no recovery, no fees. We only get paid if we obtain a positive recovery in your case.
Socal Employment Counsel - Representing Employees in Workplace Disputes Throughout Northern California
Socal Employment Counsel - Representing Employees in Workplace Disputes Throughout Northern California
We can review the facts of your case and give you an honest evaluation of your wrongful termination claim. 

Phone: 213.275.2018

Online: Case Evaluation Form

Contact an experienced employment lawyer today
Employment Law FAQ