You may be able to sue, depending on the circumstances. Many people who have been fired or laid off believe that they were illegally terminated. They believe that their employer is required to have a good reason to fire them. However, in California employees can fire employees for any reason or no reason at all, unless there are special circumstances at play or the reason for firing is illegal.
Even though employers can fire employees for almost any reason in California, employees do have legal rights. An employer cannot fire an employee for an illegal reason, such as age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or similar reasons. If the employee is subject to an employment contract that provides there must be good cause for firing the employee, he or she cannot be fired without a good reason. If an employee is a member of a union or a government worker, that employee may have extra protections in place. Some common examples of illegal termination include firing older workers because of their ages, firing a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy, or firing an employee because of his or her disability.
If your employer did illegally fire you, the employer may have broken other laws of which you may not be aware. You may not have been properly compensated for overtime, sick leave, or unpaid vacation. Your employer may also be pressuring you to sign a severance agreement. Although it can be very tempting to sign one, since normally there is an amount of salary included, if you do so you are waiving your legal right to sue your employer.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, do not sign anything without speaking to an attorney. If you are in the Los Angeles area, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment law attorney at 310-385-0567. My team can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation