Most employees are “at will” employees. This means that it
is not necessary for an employer to have a reason to fire them. However,
even at will employees may be fired for unlawful reasons such as discrimination.
This is known as wrongful termination or
wrongful dismissal. Under employment law an employee may bring a claim against a former employer
for wrongful termination in the San Jose, CA area.
You were fired after exercising a legal right or responsibility.
Employment law affords employees the right to exercise certain legal rights
and responsibilities without fear of reprisal from their employers. You
may have been wrongfully terminated if you were fired after taking leave
under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or from taking time off
from work to vote. You are also protected from being fired for serving
as a volunteer firefighter, being a member on a jury, serving as an election
officer, or being a member of the National Guard, Army Reserve, or other
You were fired after refusing to commit an illegal act.
It is not lawful for an employer to fire an employee for his or her refusal
to commit an illegal act. For example, a supervisor may be engaging in
embezzlement from the company. He or she might ask you to set aside some
of the funds in your own bank account in order to cover his or her tracks.
The supervisor might even offer to let you keep a percentage in exchange
for your participation. If you refuse to commit embezzlement and your
supervisor fires you as a result, this is grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
You were fired after refusing sexual advances.
Men and women both may be victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
An employee cannot be fired for refusing unwanted sexual advances, either
verbal or physical, or for refusing to tolerate sexual harassment.
You were fired in violation of your employment contract.
If you did have an employment contract and you were fired, consider having
an employment lawyer review the document. It is possible that your employer
fired you in violation of this contract. Even if you do not have an employment
contract, you might have been wrongfully terminated if your employer fires
you in violation of company policy or termination procedures.