Can I build a case from being wrongfully fired?

On 05/02 I addressed my concerns to my employer they told me I was doing a great job and that the appreciated me so much on 05/07. I received an employment letter explaining that I was going to get a raise and when my benefits would kick in. The letter stated I started on 05/23 but I started working on 04/14. I addressed that to my employer on 05/10, along with other concerns that I felt I was being discriminated because I’m a young lady and I felt that I wasn’t being treated right. This has not been the first time I’ve addressed it to my employer so I took the initiative to tell them that if this would keep going on I’d go to the labor bored because as an employee that’s my right. Then, on 06/13, I got terminated and I asked them why and they didn’t have an answer nor did they have me fill out any paperwork for my termination. I have all the e-mails I’ve had with my boss which prove that there was no warning and if they where planning to fire me why would they send me an employment letter?

Asked on June 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The answer, generally, is that all employment is employment at will, unless and only to the extent you have a written employment contract protecting your job or restricting termination. If you are lucky enough to have one--very few of us do--you can enforce its terms in court if helpful to you. But without such a written contract, you are an employee at will and may be terminated at any time, for any reason, without notice, and regardless of prior reviews or promises about raises, promotions, etc. There is also no paperwork required for termination.
However, there is an exception: you cannot be fired (or otherwise discriminated against or harassed in employment) due to certain protected categories, most important of which, for your purpose, is sex/gender. Nor can you be terminated for raising a concern or complaint about gender-based discrimination. Based on what you write, it may be that you were wronfully discriminated against due to your sex, or retailed against for raising a question about sexual discrimination. Based on what you write, it woul be worthwhile for you to consult with the federal EEOC and/or your state's equal/civil rights agency about filing a complaint.


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