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Signs You May Have Been Wrongfully Terminated

Man Scolding Person

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 armed services.

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.