California Public Policy and FEHA prohibits employers from terminating an employee because the employee opposed practices forbidden by the FEHA or filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any DFEH or court proceeding related to a FEHA claim.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL TERMINATION
To bring a claim for wrongful termination an employee must show that (1) he or she is in a class protected from discrimination (2) that he or she was performing his or her job competently but was terminated, and (3) some other circumstance suggesting discriminatory motive.
In addition to harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), there are common law causes of action, which as employee can raise: (1) breach of an express or implied employment contract; (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) wrongful discharge based on public policy; and (4) tortious invasion of a right not relating to the reason for discharge.
WHAT IS PROTECTED.
Labor Code section 98.6
This is commonly known as Whistleblower Protection:
An employer must not discharge, terminate, discriminate or retaliate against an employee or applicant for the following reasons:
- Employee has exercised any right under the Labor Code;
- Employee has filed a complaint with the Labor Commissioner or with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH
- Employee is going to testify in a proceeding under the jurisdiction of the Labor Commissioner.
- Employee has made an oral or written complaint regarding his or her unpaid wages.
Any Employer who has violated this provision is subject to civil penalties under PAGA not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per employee for each violation
Labor Code section 132a
An employer must not discriminate against an employee because he or she has filed or is intends to file a workers compensation claim or because the employee has been awarded worker’s compensation benefits.
Labor Code section 230
Crime Victim Leave
An employer must not discharge, terminate, discriminate or retaliate against an employee for the following reasons:
- The employee has taken time off from work to serve on a jury;
- The employee is a victim of a crime and needs to appear as a witness in a court proceeding;
- The employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking needs time off work to seek legal relief for domestic violence or sexual assault;
- The employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and the employer has notice.
Labor Code section 230.1
Crime Victim Leave
An employer with 25 or more employees must not discharge, terminate, discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work for any of the following purposes:
- To seek medical attention;
- To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center;
- To obtain psychological counseling;
- To participate in safety planning
Labor Code section 230.2
An employer must not discharge, terminate, discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of a felony because the employee attends related judicial proceedings.