Back to News

What Is Wrongful Termination?

What does suing an employer for wrongful termination look like?

Wrongful termination is, unfortunately, something many workers experience at some point in their career, and the wrongful termination lawyers at Lawyers for Justice, PC (LFJ) have a strong track record of helping with a wrongful termination lawsuit and wrongful termination claims. The employment attorney team at LFJ has assisted thousands of California workers prove wrongful termination claims and sue for wrongful termination against unlawful treatment and conduct from their employers. LFJ’s experienced attorney team has recovered significant compensation for illegally terminated clients, clients who experienced emotional distress and were fired, clients who were fired for reporting a hostile work environment, clients who were fired for being sexually harassed, and other wrongful termination issues.

Each wrongful termination case, or wrongful termination lawsuit, can be complex and specific to each employee. The employment lawyers at LFJ can help answer more specific questions if there is a concern that an at will employee may have been wrongfully terminated.

Understanding wrongful termination can be tricky. What is wrongful termination? How can a worker tell if they have been wrongfully terminated from their job? Although California is an at-will employment state, there are still ways to indicate if an employee can sue for wrongful termination. A California worker may have been wrongfully terminated from their job if they have experienced the following:


  • A worker was terminated for discriminatory reasons by their former employer, based upon their race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy, disability, or other characteristics or traits that are protected by state or federal law. Perhaps an employee was fired because they felt their employer was prejudiced against them because of the color of their skin. That would be a violation of a worker’s legal rights and could be grounds for a wrongful termination claim. Wrongful termination lawsuits are important. A worker should always call a wrongful termination lawyer if they feel their national origin played a part in their termination.
  • An employee was fired for reporting their employer for breaking federal law, other unlawful practices, or were forced to resign because of unfair workplace activity. For example, maybe a California worker observed their employee engaging in illegal workplace behavior (sexual harassment, embezzlement, disability discrimination, or another illegal reason) and the worker dutifully reported it. If the employee was fired shortly thereafter their report, they employer may have terminated them for reporting their illegal behavior. In that case, the worker should contact a wrongful termination lawyer like the ones at Lawyers for Justice, PC.
  • A worker was terminated in breach of an employment contract. There are different types of employment contracts that could be violated in wrongful termination lawsuits (maybe an implied contract or perhaps something more substantial). Perhaps the employee had an at-will employment contract for their job’s duration, but the employer broke the contract to fire them. That is a breach of an employment contract and could be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit to help a worker reclaim compensation.


Suing An Employer For Wrongful Termination

Workers who have experienced wrongful termination have a specific window of time after being fired to pursue a wrongful termination case. This period of time is defined as the statute of limitations. Statues vary depending on the offense, Which statute of limitations applies will often depend on the specific nature of the wrongful termination. There are some laws that protect whistleblowers, which may vary in time for other wrongful termination claim statues.

A wrongful termination claim can be covered by several laws, including both state and federal. In order for a worker to take advantage of the full scope of their wrongful termination lawsuit, they must adhere to multiple statutes of limitations. Having an employment attorney help with a wrongful termination lawsuit is an employee’s best bet of how to successfully handle their case.


Wrongful Termination Damages

If an employee wins a wrongful termination lawsuit in California, they are entitled to compensation for the wages they, equal to the income they would have received had they not been fired. In some instances, the damages can also include other unpaid wages, like overtime.

An experienced employment attorney knows the ins and outs of the law and can help any worried employee navigate a wrongful termination suit when they are frightened after being fired. Lawyers for Justice, PC is a contingency-based law firm, so workers do not pay any up-front fees to retain legal help.


If any employee feels like they have been unfairly fired, call Lawyers for Justice, PC today for a free consultation to learn how the firm can help. Each employment law attorney is a strong voice for California workers and they have collectively recovered millions of dollars for employees.

Call us at 818-647-9323 or visit us online at


Wrongful Termination – FAQ



can you be fired without being told? The short answer is yes, you can be fired without being told. The more complicated answer is that it depends on your employment contract and your employer’s reasons for firing you. In the United States, there are no legal requirements that employers must follow when firing an employee. If you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of that agreement may require notice before firing. Otherwise, in most states, there is no law requiring that employees be given any notice before being fired.

can i sue for being fired without warning? A valid employment contract may state that you may only be terminated for specific reasons. If your employer fires you and violates this contract without providing a valid reason, they may face legal recourse for breach of contract.

when you get terminated from a job does it go on your record? No, getting fired will not appear on an employment background check performed on you.

does an employer have to tell you why you were fired? Because California is an at-will employment state, a business may fire an employee at any time without prior notice. They do not have to provide a reason for the firing. A valid or implied employment contract may include a requirement that an explanation be given to the fired employee, although this is uncommon.

can employer fire you for no reason? California is an at-will employment state, where you can be hired (and fired) at your employer’s discretion. So yes, you can be fired for no reason. However, if your boss terminates your employment as an act of discrimination, retaliation, and policy violation, it is considered illegal. When wrongful termination occurs, at-will employees can file a legal claim to protect their rights and uphold state labor laws.

is terminated the same as fired? Yes, a termination and a firing are the same.

can you be fired after giving notice? The main disadvantage of giving notice when leaving a job relates back to California being an at-will employment state. Even if you give two weeks notice, your employer can still go ahead and fire you before the notice period expires. This can happen and leave you without a wrongful termination claim.

what to do when you get fired unfairly? There are many examples of wrongful termination cases, and sometimes they can be because of discriminatory practices (employment discrimination and age discrimination). If an employee believes their legal rights are violated and wrongful termination occurs, they should seek the guidance of an experienced employment lawyer. An employee can file a lawsuit for wrongful discharge to seek damages for discriminatory practices, racial discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment violations under state and federal laws.

how long does an employer have to pay you after being fired? California employment law states that employees receive final paychecks immediately. If an employee is fired or doesn’t have a say in leaving their job, they must be paid their final paycheck on the same day as termination. An employee who quits must be given their final paycheck within 72 hours of providing notice.