Most California employers don’t like to fire individuals working for them. But any number of issues might arise to compel an employer to terminate a worker’s employment. In some cases, a worker might strike back by filing a wrongful termination complaint. It is important for employers to know how to defend themselves against such allegations.
Employment laws prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on age, ethnicity, disability, religion, gender or race. If a worker can prove that he or she was fired because of his or her skin color, ethnic background or some other protected discriminatory factor, there may be grounds for filing a wrongful termination claim. Employers must also honor the terms of an employment contract, such as if a worker was promised employment for a certain amount of time.
An employer must prove that a former worker has filed a baseless claim
An employer might fire a worker for poor performance or because of cost reduction programs being implemented, etc., but not because the worker in question is part of a protected class of people. As long as no discrimination has taken place, and no contract breach or no retaliation (for whistleblowing, as an example), an employee may have a challenging time proving a claim.
It is always best to consult with a trusted business advisor before heading to court to resolve a wrongful termination complaint. An experienced legal advocate is often able to help an employer resolve such issues out of court. However, an attorney who is knowledgeable in employment law issues is also prepared for litigation if it becomes necessary.