California is an employment at will state. This means that any employee can be fired at any time for any reason. However, there is an exception to this rule -- the reason may not be illegal. When an employee is fired for a discriminatory reason it is illegal and, therefore, a wrongful termination. When an employee is wrongfully discharged, they may have a cause of action for recovery against their employer.
A 67-year-old woman that was formerly an employee in Fresno believes that she was recently fired due to her age. She has, therefore, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her former employer.
According to California state law and also federal law, an employee cannot be fired on the basis of age discrimination if they are at least 40-years-old. This woman states that just a few years ago her supervisor at work began asking her when she was going to retire. But, according to the woman, she did not have mandatory retirement.
Shortly thereafter, the woman was involved in a car crash while at work and suffered from whiplash. After being gone from work for just a week the woman's supervisor emailed her and said she'd be fired if she did not return to work. So she returned to work but, unfortunately, got into another car accident a few weeks later. The woman was sent to the company's workers' compensation doctor who sent her back to work against her own doctor's orders.
However, the woman then received a letter that her position had been terminated. She then found out that her position had actually been backfilled with someone that was more than 30 years her junior. She was then led to believe that she was fired because of her age and her medical bills.
This woman's case has yet to be determined but she says she is looking forward to her day in court. If her termination was truly wrongful, it is important that her former employer is held responsible for their illegal behavior and that the woman obtains the compensation to which she is entitled.
Source: Lawyers and Settlements, "Age Discrimination Grounds for California Labor Lawsuit," Jane Mundy, May 12, 2014