Wade Law Group
offices Throughout california Call for a location near you

Not every termination is wrongful

You may know that California, like all other states, is an at-will employment state. This means that you can fire an employee whether you have good reason or not. However, this does not mean it is any easier to let someone go without feeling nervous about the ramifications. Specifically, you may worry that your former employee will file a wrongful termination lawsuit against you.

If you are facing this situation now, you may be going over and over the day you fired this person trying to remember if you made a mistake. However, you may need to look back even further. In fact, protecting yourself from wrongful termination claims is something you should have in mind from the moment you hire someone.

The limits of a wrongful termination claim

You may already use employee contracts during the hiring process, but does your contract include information about "at will" employment? If so, this may be an important factor in your defense. However, perhaps no other process can benefit you more than keeping detailed employment records for the duration of an employee's tenure. Recording any performance issues, disciplinary actions or other negative encounters may provide solid justification for termination. Nevertheless, your former employee may accuse you of terminating him or her for any of the following illegal reasons or others:

  • In retaliation for taking lawful actions, such as asking for a raise, claiming worker's compensation or taking advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • As punishment for reporting unsafe or illegal working conditions or workplace activities
  • Because the employee refused to participate in illegal activities
  • In violation of federal or state discrimination laws, such as firing an employee because of his or her race, religion, disability or sexual orientation
  • In violation of the terms of an employment contract

Sometimes employees incorrectly believe that wrongful termination simply means you did not have a good reason to fire them. However, this is not the legal definition of the term. Fortunately, there are limited circumstances under which an employee can bring a lawsuit after being fired. You can take steps to avoid those listed above, and you may consider offering a severance package in exchange for an employee's agreement to forfeit the right to sue.

When you do find yourself facing legal matters concerning the termination of an employee, you may have a great deal at stake. You would be wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible by reaching out to a skilled attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Call 408-842-1688 or toll free at 855-656-7590 or send a confidential email to request a case evaluation. Office locations located all throughout the state.

Get In Touch With Us Today

As litigation attorneys in San Jose, we have handled complex cases and obtained real results for individuals throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Whether you are a business owner who needs help resolving a breach of contract dispute or a parent looking for skillful guidance regarding a custody dispute, let a skilled, successful team of attorneys help you.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Our Locations

San Jose Office
84 West Santa Clara Street
Suite 750
San Jose, CA 95113

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

Mountain View Office
800 West El Camino Real
Suite 180
Mountain View, California 94040

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

San Mateo Office
951 Mariners Island Blvd
Suite 300
San Mateo, California 94404

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

Gilroy Office
8080 Santa Teresa
Suite 240
Gilroy, California 95020

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

Oakland Office
1901 Harrison Street
Suite 1100
Oakland, California 94612

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

Alameda Office
1101 Marina Village Parkway
Suite 201
Alameda, California 94501

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

San Francisco Office
One Market, Spear Tower
36th Floor
San Francisco, California 94105

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

San Francisco Office
1700 Montgomery Street
1st Floor
San Francisco, California 94111

Toll Free: 855-656-7590
Map & Directions

Alameda County Satellite Offices:
San Francisco County Satellite Offices:
Email Us For A Response

Visit Our Social Media Sites

Bold labels are required.

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.