WRONGFUL TERMINATION LAWYER

Wrongful termination encompasses many types of unlawful terminations from employment. 

Employees who lose their jobs or suffer other adverse employment actions as a result of race discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual harassment or gender discrimination, discrimination based on marital status, gender identity discrimination, age discrimination, and national origin discrimination, disability discrimination, discrimination based on medical condition (cancer & HIV/AIDS), sexual orientation or other protected characteristics may have a claim for wrongful termination.

Similarly, employees who lose their jobs in retaliation for complaining of such discrimination also may have claims for wrongful termination.  See our whistleblowing page.

California law also provides an exception to the general rule of "at-will" employment where the employee is terminated for refusing to engage in illegal conduct or for reporting illegal conduct.  This is known as a "wrongful termination in violation of public policy."

The public policy at issue must be embodied in the federal or state Constitution, a federal or state statute, or a regulation that is authorized by statute and which embodies a fundamental public policy.  

Thus, a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy may arise where an employer: 

  • Terminates an employee for refusing to violate the law;
  • Terminates an employee for performing a statutory obligation, such as reporting a safety violation;
  • Terminates an employee for exercising a statutory right or privilege; or
  • Terminates an employee for reporting to governmental authorities an alleged violation of a right or privilege granted by law, such as when an employee is terminated in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.

Remedies for wrongful termination in violation of public policy include lost earnings, emotional distress and punitive damages.  The wrongful termination attorneys at Kelley•Semmel, LLP can help you see if you might have a valid claim for wrongful termination.