It is important for workers to understand that there are reasons for terminating their employment that may be considered illegal. Workers have important legal protections against this type of prohibited activity that they should be familiar with and understand. To protect their rights, they must be aware of what they are.
Examples of potential wrongful termination include terminating an employee for reporting misappropriation of public funds; terminating an employee for refusing to commit fraud such as Medicare fraud; terminating an employee for refusing to violate the law; terminating an employee for protesting illegal or unsafe working conditions; terminating an employee for demanding appropriate overtime compensation; termination an employee for refusing to engage in retaliation or discrimination; or terminating an employee for reporting workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
Workers should not be discriminated against in the workplace and if they report workplace discrimination, employers are prohibited from retaliating against them. This includes terminating them which may be considered wrongful termination and may be illegal. Even employees who are considered at-will employees in California, and may be fired for any reason, cannot be terminated for an unlawful reason. Workers in this position should understand their possible legal recourse.
Because a worker's livelihood and the ability to care for themselves and their family most often depends on their job and occupation, it is important for them to understand their protections related to that job. Knowing how to assert their rights if they have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against in the workplace can be vital for everyday employees and their families.