Unlawful Retaliation

California is an at-will employment state, which allows employers to fire employees at any time, with our without a reason. However, there are certain exceptions to this general rule.  One of these exceptions is that companies cannot fire employees for engaging in certain protected conduct.

Protected Conduct in the Workplace includes:

  • Making complaints about sexual harassment at work
  • Reporting employee discrimination in the workplace
  • Making complaints about unpaid wages, or other labor code violations
  • Refusing to participate in illegal activity
  • Taking time off of work to serve in the armed forces
  • Attempting to take a medical leave
  • Requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability

An employee who has been fired in retaliation for engaged in any of the above protected activities may have a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Such lawsuits would generally include a demand for missed wages, emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

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