| Wrongful Termination
Wrongful dismissal, also called wrongful termination or wrongful discharge describes a situation in which an employee's contract of employment has been terminated by the employer in circumstances where the termination breaches one or more terms of the contract of employment, or a statute provision in employment law. It follows that the scope for wrongful dismissal varies according to the terms of the employment contract, and varies by jurisdiction. The absence of a formal contract of employment does not preclude wrongful dismissal in California. Terms of such a contract may include obligations and rights outlined in an employee handbook. Being terminated for any of the items listed below may constitute wrongful termination:
- Discrimination: The employer cannot terminate employment because the employee is a certain race, nationality, religion, sex, age, or in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation.
- Retaliation: An employer cannot fire an employee because the employee filed a claim of discrimination or is participating in an investigation for discrimination. In the United States, this "retaliation" is forbidden under civil rights law.
- Employee's refusal to commit an illegal act: An employer is not permitted to fire an employee because the employee refuses to commit an act that is illegal.
- Employer is not following own termination procedures: Often, the employee handbook or company policy outlines a procedure that must be followed before an employee is terminated. If the employer fires an employee without following this procedure, the employee may have a claim for wrongful termination.
- Reporting harassment
- Serving in the armed forces reserves
- Requesting overtime pay or additional benefits