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Wrongful Termination

California Employment Laws

California Wrongful Termination Law

California is an at-will employment State. Generally, this means that employers can terminate or discharge an employee for any reason whatsoever, or no reason at all. In that same regard, employees are free to leave their employment for any reason, or no reason at all. Despite this general rule, there are several exceptions to the at-will employment laws. Employers may not simply engage in unlawful forms of workplace discrimination.

Employment laws have been enacted to generally protect employees from employment discrimination. An employer should not terminate an employee on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Country of national origin
  • Religion

An employer is also prohibited from terminating an employee because he or she made a lawful complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment, or took proper leave based on state or federal leave laws. 

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing maintains a website that provides further information on employee rights under FEHA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also has a website which provides additional information about employment discrimination laws.