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How do I file a wrongful termination claim in California?

How do I file a wrongful termination claim in California | Southern California Employment Law, PC

Wrongful termination claims in California remain a critical aspect of employment law, and as we enter 2023, understanding the intricacies of these claims becomes paramount. Employees in the Golden State have certain rights and protections against unjust and unlawful termination, which may encompass discrimination, retaliation, or violations of employment contracts. Filing a wrongful termination claim in California involves navigating a complex legal landscape, necessitating a clear understanding of the laws, procedures, and potential outcomes. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide an overview of the process and considerations involved in filing wrongful termination claims in California in 2023, empowering individuals with the knowledge needed to protect their rights in the workplace.

How to file a wrongful termination lawsuit

A wrongful termination lawsuit is a legal recourse employees pursue when they believe they were unjustly fired. This guide explores the process, rights, and remedies associated with such claims. To file a wrongful termination lawsuit in California, you must first prove that your employer violated state or federal law when they fired you. Steps to file a wrongful termination lawsuit in California:

  • Gather evidence: You will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include documentation of your employment, such as your job offer letter, performance reviews, and termination letter. It may also include witness statements from coworkers or supervisors.
  • File a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH): The DFEH is a state agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws. Filing a complaint with the DFEH is not required, but it can help to preserve your rights and may lead to a settlement.
  • File a lawsuit in court: If you cannot reach a settlement with your employer or if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your DFEH complaint, you may file a lawsuit in court. You must file your lawsuit within two years of your termination date.

Laws against wrongful termination

California has robust laws in place to protect employees against wrongful termination. Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for reasons that violate state or federal laws, employment contracts, or public policy. Some key California laws addressing wrongful termination include:

  • The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): The FEHA prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics), genetic information, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or veteran status.
  • The California Employment Code: The California Employment Code prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a wage claim, complaining about discrimination or harassment, or exercising other legal rights.
  • The Public Policy Exception: The public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine protects employees from being fired for refusing to engage in illegal activity or for exercising a fundamental public policy right.


In the ever-evolving landscape of employment law in California, filing a wrongful termination claim in 2023 can be complex and challenging. However, it is essential to remember that employees have rights, and the legal system is here to protect those rights. At Southern California Employment Law Group PC, we are dedicated to helping individuals navigate the intricacies of wrongful termination claims, and our experienced team is committed to ensuring that justice prevails. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated and need legal guidance or representation, please reach out to us at (424) 688-1057. Your voice matters, and together, we can strive for fairness, accountability, and a more just workplace for all.

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