Most California employees are considered “at will.” In short, this means that employee can leave at any time for any reason. It also gives the employer the ability terminate the employee for no reason at all.
Despite the “at-will” nature, however, employers cannot terminate an employee for a reason that violates the law or their employment contract. A employer violates the law when it is motivated by its intent to discriminate, harass, or retaliate against an employee. For example, your employer may not termination you for:
Refusing to do something that is unlawful, whether it actually is unlawful
Making complaints about discriminations, e.g. race, disability, sexual orientation, etc.
Requesting a disability accommodation
Reporting Sexual Harassment
Requesting Medical leave
Using Paid Sick Leave
Complaining about wage-related issues, e.g. unpaid wages, meal or rest breaks, overtime, etc.
When an employer terminates an employee in violation of the law, the employee may have a wrongful termination claim.