When an Employee Can Sue Employer for Wrongful Termination?

By: JML Law | November 9, 2023.
When an Employee Can Sue Employer for Wrongful Termination?

Employees can sue their employers for wrongful termination when they believe that their termination violated applicable employment laws or breached their employment contract. The specific circumstances under which an employee can sue for wrongful termination can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the details of the employment relationship. Here are common scenarios in which employees may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit:


An employee can sue for wrongful termination if they believe they were fired based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy status, or other protected characteristics as defined by federal, state, or local anti-discrimination laws (e.g., Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the United States).


If an employee is terminated as a form of retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting workplace discrimination, harassment, safety violations, or whistleblowing, they may have a wrongful termination claim.

Breach of Employment Contract

When an employment contract exists (either written or implied), and the employer breaches the terms of the contract by firing the employee without proper cause or following due process, the employee may have a valid wrongful termination claim.

Violation of Public Policy and Statutory Rights

In some jurisdictions, employees can sue for wrongful termination if their firing violates a clear public policy established by law. This could include situations where an employee is terminated for refusing to engage in illegal activities or reporting illegal conduct. If an employer terminates an employee violating specific statutory protections, such as family and medical leave rights (e.g., FMLA in the United States) or military service-related protections (e.g., USERRA), the employee may have a valid claim.

Whistleblower Protections

Some jurisdictions have laws that protect whistleblowers who report illegal or unethical activities. If an employee is fired for whistleblowing, they may be able to sue for wrongful termination.

Constructive Discharge

In cases where an employer makes working conditions so intolerable that an employee has no choice but to resign, it may be considered a constructive discharge. In such cases, the employee may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Violation of Company Policies and State or Local Laws

If the employer has specific policies and procedures outlined in an employee handbook or manual and does not follow those procedures when terminating an employee, it could be the basis for a wrongful termination claim. In addition to federal laws, state and local employment laws can provide additional protections and grounds for wrongful termination claims.

Our Attorneys from JML Law Can Help

It’s important for individuals who believe they have been wrongfully terminated in Los Angeles or elsewhere to consult with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles from JML Law. Our attorneys can assess the specifics of your case, help determine the applicable statute of limitations, and guide them through the legal process to ensure their rights are protected. Legal professionals can also provide valuable advice on the strength of the case and the potential remedies available to the affected individual. Call 818-610-8800 to get a free consultation with our employment attorneys.

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