Anyone in California who has ever lost a job knows that this experience can be highly upsetting, stressful and even traumatic. The experience can be made all the worse if the employee believes the reason for their job loss was inappropriate and even illegal. For many, it can be hard to identify the often thin and blurry line between a legal termination and an illegal one but the distinction is very important to make.
The Muse indicates that there are many red flags that may signal a termination was wrongful. These include terminations after an employee had reported an ethical violation, filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits or was identified as having a serious medical condition. If an employee is involved in an effort within the company to improve conditions for other workers, the company may not legally fire the person for this. Such retaliation is expressly illegal based on the National Labor Relations Act.
When it comes to being fired for discrimation based on any of the protected classes outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, having clear documentation will be important for the employee.
Per FindLaw, such documentation may include objective or subjective and circumstantial evidence. An example of the latter can be seen in a situation where a person alleges they were fired because of their race. If a round of layoffs ended up letting only people of a single race go, this may be circumstantial evidence to support a claim of wrongful termination based on race discrimination.