Unless the reason was obvious or anticipated, most dismissals usually come as a surprise. In those situations, many employees will automatically assume they have been wrongfully terminated without realizing that this legal term only applies to limited scenarios.
Employment arrangements in the state of New York are usually “at will.” This means that just as you can walk out of your job at any time and for any reason, so can the employer dismiss you for any legal reason (or no reason at all).
However, there are instances when employee termination can be deemed illegal under California laws. Here are some of them:
Breach of contract
If your employment contract outlines specific grounds for termination or a service period, you are not in an “at-will” employment arrangement. In this case, the employer cannot dismiss you outside of these terms except on grounds of gross misconduct.
An employer cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons based on your inclusion in a group that has protected status. These protection statuses include your religion, race, gender, disability, national origin or sexual orientation.
An employer cannot dismiss you for reporting employment or labor violations, including reporting discriminations. You also cannot be dismissed for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
If you believe that your dismissal was unfair — you may be right. If you believe that your dismissal was unlawful, you probably need to get a legal opinion on the matter. Wrongful terminations happen more often than people realize, and you have every right to take action.