Can I Be Fired For No Reason in California?

Discrimination Attorneys in California

California is an at-will state, which implies that at any moment of jobs with or without reason an employer can terminate you for any reason. This means that if your employer doesn’t like your personality if you run out of work, think you’re lazy or just don’t want staff anymore, they can fire you at any moment.

Today, most employee handbooks contain a disclaimer of at-will employment. Most handbooks describe at-will and require an employee to sign an acknowledgment of the company’s at-will status. However, for purposes that are illegal under state and federal law, an at-will employee has a right not to be terminated.

What is At-Will Employment in California?

At-will employment in California means that the employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, as long as the reason is not illegal. It does not make a difference whether the employee actually did anything wrong. If the employee is at-will, any reason, including no reason, is a proper basis for termination.

Being an at-will employee does not give your employer all the reasons to fire you and there are exceptions. An employer can’t terminate you for any illegal reason. Some illegal reasons for terminating an employee in California include discrimination based on your age, sex, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation.

If an employee is fired for any of these reasons, they may be entitled to sue the employer for discrimination. There are also other occasions where an employer can’t easily fire an employee such as if the employee has an employment contract with the employer or if the employee is a member of a union and under a union collective bargaining agreement.

People who have been degraded, wrongly terminated, harassed or otherwise treated unlawfully have rights and options.

Potter Handy, LLP represents individuals who have experienced workplace violations of civil rights.

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Learn more about wrongful termination.